Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Matthew 5:24 -- On Making More Room for Good

"Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."
Matthew 5:24

This is interesting.  We already know that the first commandment is to love God, and the second is to love our neighbors (Mark 12:30-31), but this seems to be saying that trouble with that second commandment can get in the way of the first.  If we are having trouble getting along with each other, that can cause problems with our relationship with God.

We already knew this on some level, right?  We feel ourselves farther away from God when we are in conflict with others.  But it is a good reminder.  I think sometimes we feel like the two are independent... that we can love God while hating someone else.  And we can certainly try, but God, here, asks us to resolve our other problems before making any offering to him.  Our broken hearts and contrite spirits might even be enhanced if we take the time to do things in the order that God asks. :)

Today, let's remember that we will have a much better relationship with God if we learn to love and heal the relationships that we have with others.  Let's work on forgiveness and reconciliation and kindness, working with God so that we can see the good in others, and so that we know better how to help and serve, and also how to let go of resentment and anger that can get in the way of trying to love anyone.  Resolving our negative emotional turmoil leaves us a lot more room for positive feelings, and allows us to love God better, just like repentance gets sin off our minds and consciences so that we can focus more on the things of the Spirit.  Let's clear out the bad and make more room for good. :)

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