Reconciliation Comes Before Worship
"So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God." Matthew 5:23-24 (NLT)
Some people say, "Time heals everything." No, it doesn't! Time heals nothing. The only way to resolve conflict is to face it.
When you love somebody, you level with that person. We call this a peace conference - a sit down, face-to-face meeting.
You may say, "OK, fine. When they come to me, then I will face it."
No! God expects you to take the first step. He expects you to be the peacemaker. You make the first move. It doesn't matter if you are the offended one or the offender. God says it's always your move.
Matthew 5:23-24 says, "So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God" (NLT).
Reconciliation takes priority over worship. You need to get your relationships right and then come back and worship God.
Here are some suggestions on how to do a peace conference:
- Choose the right time. The best time is when both of you are at your best. Wait until you're both rested and ready.
- Choose the right place. Don't do it in a restaurant where you'll be interrupted. Don't do it when the kids are hanging around.
- Pray before the meeting. You always talk to God before you talk to the person you've got the conflict with.
- Come with a positive attitude. Come ready to reconcile and compromise.
Why should you do this? Why should you take the initiative?
First, Jesus tells you to do it. Second, your worship is worthless if you're in the middle of conflict. Third, God won't hear your prayers until you've reconciled with others and him. That one may surprise you. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:7, "Husbands must give honor to your wives. If you don't treat her as you should your prayers will not be heard."
This verse is for people in any relationship. God wants you to get your relationships right. He wants you to offer forgiveness. Then, you can have a right relationship with God.
Talk It Over
- Why would you have trouble worshipping God when you are in conflict with someone?
- With whom do you need to have a peace conference?
- What steps will you take today to move toward reconciliation in your relationships?