Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.
- Settling matters with your adversary isn’t always easy especially when you don’t know the cause of why that person isn’t speaking to you but as believers we must seek God in the area of forgiving our adversary. It’s so easy to say that we have forgiven someone but when that person’s name is mentioned, we become very angry because of the the pain that was caused.
- Unforgiveness can hinder us from seeing what God is doing in our lives. You may have been asking God to give you peace but due the pain your harboring, you don’t see God working in your life.
- Don’t wait for your adversary to come to you before you settle matters. This verse made it clear. It didn’t say wait until your enemy comes to you before you settle matters. It said “leave your gift at the altar”. Go and be reconciled with them. Then come and offer your gift. We see that this is a command that God is trying to illustrate to us. He didn’t say sit and wait for your adversary to come and tell you what caused the friction in your relationship. God makes it very clear. Go!
- In the final verse, we are reminded that we should settle matters quickly before it’s too late. Sometimes, we wait so many years before we forgive someone. Due to unforgiveness, we harbor so much hurt, pain and bitterness which prolongs our healing. Unforgiveness is a disease. It’s like a seed we refuse to allow the Holy Spirit to uproot. We are comfortable with it being rooted in our souls. We say with our mouths that we have forgiven that person that hurt us but truth be told, we don’t know what it means to forgive someone. Many times, we don’t want to forgive those that have hurt us because we want to hold them hostage and responsible for the hurt they caused us. No matter how many times they apologize or come to terms with the damage they have done to us, we refuse to accept their apologies because we feel that they aren’t honestly sorry. Though this may be the case, it is not our responsibility to sit and ponder about their intentions. It’s your responsibility to settle the matter but bring that heart issue to God. Release your pain unto God. Understanding that forgiving someone doesn’t mean re-entry into your life again will really help you. Many times, we think forgiving someone means that we have to be friends with them or maintain a relationship with them. To truth of the matter is that you don’t have to maintain a relationship with those who have hurt you. If it is your desire to reconcile and start that relationship anew, bring your heart desires before God and allow his will to be done.
- Who do you need to forgive?
- What is holding you back from showing that individual grace/mercy?
- How would you feel if God remembered everything that you did and refused to forgive you?
- Are you comfortable with keeping records of what others have done to you?
- What do you need to do to break away from that habit?
- Have you forgiven yourself?
- Have you brought the issue before God?
- How long will you continue to harbor anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness?
- Peace is waiting for you. Joy is ready for you. Are you ready to receive the gift of the Lord?
- Today is the day. Go before God and express your cares before God.
May God give you the grace to forgive. For it is written “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” -Matthew 6:14-15
Until next time, stay blessed & encouraged. Have a blessed day 🙂