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. Matthew 5:23-24
Anger is an emotion we all share. The difference seems to be in how we handle it. We’re all given ample opportunity to experience anger, from dealing with crowded highways and roads to reacting to differing opinions. This begs the question as to the appropriateness of anger. Certainly, there were times where Jesus became angry, but the context was holy. For example, in John 2:13-17, Jesus drives the merchants out of the temple with a whip of cords. Hard to do that without an angry emotion. These people were profiting off those in the temple when they shouldn’t have been, so Jesus was cleansing the temple.
Are we reacting in the same manner, contextually? I can tell you from personal experience that reacting in anger to traffic or differing opinions doesn’t approach holiness. We might think so, but such is not the case. Through intentional and humble surrender to the Lord, our angry reactions can begin to be addressed. Only then can our anger be resolved.
In today’s passage, we see a different perspective. We’re told if we approach the altar and remember someone has an issue with us, we’re to go to them and pursue reconciliation. Regardless of who caused the incident, we’re called to take care of it. Notice, too, the immediacy of the reconciliation! As soon as it’s remembered, resolve it. Period. We’re to exercise humility as we purpose to resolve whatever the issue might be.
Does someone come to your mind? Do you feel led to pursue reconciliation with someone in your life, whether it’s a fellow Christian, or not? Reconciling your relationship with them could reap benefits unseen. Begin the healing process today by taking a step towards them in humility. Remember that being reconciled is better than being right.
By Rich Obrecht