Reconciliation and Forgiveness

How good are you at apologizing? Do you loath the idea of saying you are sorry. When you finally grudgingly apologize, is it honest and wholehearted? Do you truly seek to reconcile differences with someone else?

It seems there is no one in our world today who isn’t at odds with someone else. There is continual upheaval among differing factions. Splits in families on opposite sides of various topics are common. Heated arguments and hurt feelings are a daily occurrence.

We have forgotten the concept of reconciliation. Our culture has lost the art of debate, being able to present differing viewpoints and meet at a compromise. Instead, the “my way or the highway” attitude has taken control, which only creates more dissention.

This does not mean we should compromise our faith or the truth of God’s Word. It does mean we are be wise enough to know the difference between opinion and fact. We are to be willing to compromise on our preferences in order to bring about peace. We are to not go about purposely offending others.

Notice Jesus’ words in today’s passage. He was referring to the Jewish sacrificial system of coming to the altar to ask for forgiveness. Jesus was telling them to be reconciled with one another before they came to the altar. How does this apply to us? We are to be reconciled with one another before we head to church on Sunday. How much would our world change if we all pursued reconciliation, minimally, on a weekly basis?

Reconciliation doesn’t come easy. The first step we must take is letting go of our pride. We must step down off our high horse and humble ourselves, first to God, then to our fellow human. This becomes the stumbling block to true reconciliation. It becomes the root cause for arguments, fighting, and separation.

The second step is asking God to reveal our own faulty beliefs to us and a willingness to change our attitudes and hearts. In effect, we must be willing to follow Jesus, not simply say we do. We must become people who trust in the truth of God’s Word. Jesus has called us to be a positive example to others. We are called to be different.

I pray we all pursue true reconciliation. I pray we are willing to change our attitudes. I pray each one of us will seek to follow Jesus. Be reconciled. Set aside your pride. Ask God to change your attitude. Dare to be different than the world.

Matthew 5:23-24 “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.”

Published by martypressey

Marty is a Pastor, retired Marine and dedicated Christian who has taught adult Bible classes and preached for 20 years. He currently serves as pastor of 3 United Methodist Churches. He believes being well-grounded in the Scriptures is key to living a better life. He brings a layman’s viewpoint to all his classes and sermons, helping others understand how to apply Scripture to their daily lives. When he sees others understand the message of a particular passage, it brings him great joy. He has seen his faith increase exponentially over the years; fully believing God has a plan and is executing it. He feels blessed to be part of that plan.

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