Restoring Relationships: Take Initiative
“If you enter your place of worship and are about to make an offering, but you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.” (Matthew 5:23-24 Msg)
RAMBLINGS from Evan’s dad – Having three teenagers, we sometimes have a spat break out. Thankfully it’s not too often. And, thankfully it is never too big. Typically it’s over getting into the other’s “space”, or saying something that was taken in the wrong way and feelings were hurt. We like to address it and nip it in the bud as soon as possible.
We’ve also taught our kids that when a sibling asks for forgiveness, not to say “that’s ok”, because the behavior probably wasn’t. Instead they were taught to say “I forgive you”. It would look something like this: Evan is wronged by Lacy when she breaks his favorite pencil. Lacy comes to Evan and says “I am sorry for breaking your favorite pencil.” Evan would hopefully reply, “I forgive you for breaking my favorite pencil.” In a perfect world there should also be restitution. Lacy would then need to purchase or replace that favorite pencil with an acceptable substitute.
I think the restitution part is where so many of us fail. We wrong someone, ask for forgiveness, get it, and think it’s over. When in reality we need to replace that broken pencil.
Kris and I were talking about this the other day. She thinks this is why so many couples continue to have problems, even after the offender asks for forgiveness, and the offended grants it. There was no restitution.
I am so thankful that even though I ruined my relationship with God, He not only forgave me, but took care of the restitution for me by letting Jesus die in my place!…
So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5: 23-24)