11/13 Matthew 5:23-24

23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

One of the greatest detriments of our fallen nature is pride. I am not referring to pride in our work or doing a good job, but rather the pride that says, "I am right!" Our egos often separate us from one another. The second great command is to love our neighbor as our self. We are all made in the image of God. We all have value before God. We may not agree, but we can do so lovingly.

To make sure that we maintain the love we should have for one another, Jesus reminded us that we can't be right with God if we are being disobedient to Him. If we want to give a gift to God for all His goodness, we should first be obedient. That often means to forgive someone of the wrongs they have done us, or apologize for offending a person. Relationships must be restored before God will accept our gift.

Notice that Jesus said, "your brother has something against you," It may just be a perception that they were insulted or wronged. It doesn't matter how real it is. That person perceives it as an offense. They expect an apology. Humble yourself and try to understand what they feel. Apologize even if you don't think it is necessary. God thinks it is. The one who humbles him for the sake of reconciliation is obeying God.

Consider: This applies to taking communion and to prayer as well. If we want a real relationship with the Lord, we must walk in obedience, wherever possible mending broken relationships.