Do you serve the Lord, participate in worship, and try to live the Christian life, while harboring a spirit of unforgiveness towards someone? Matthew 5:23 “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.
God takes your relationship with others seriously! The Scriptures say:
1. If you do not love others, you do not love God (1 Jn. 4:20-21)
2. If you do not forgive others, God will not forgive you. (Mt. 6:14-15)
3. Your forgiveness of others demonstrates obedience to God and His word (Eph. 4:32). Harboring bitterness is rebellion against God.
4. Your forgiveness of others is an expression of your gratitude to God for His greater forgiveness of you (Mt. 18:22-35)! Refusing to forgive is to arrogantly ignore the death of Jesus for you on the cross.
When Jesus was asked by the lawyer what was the most important commandment, he replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart.” The second greatest commandment was, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt. 22:36-40).
Loving our neighbor as ourselves means that we will not judge others based upon our own experiences and perspective, but we will judge righteously, based on Scripture. God takes the matter of interpersonal relationships seriously! When you are worshipping God at church on Sunday or in your quiet time in the morning and remember that someone has something against you, you are to stop worshipping, seek reconciliation with that person, and then come back to your worship. To do less is disobedience. We must never assume the blessings of God when we refuse to obey God’s clear commands.
I know that this may sound hard to do. There is hope! God has enabled us to forgive others (Eph. 4:32). He has given us the Holy Spirit, who enables us to love even our enemies (Mt. 5:43-48). Forgiveness is not a feeling. Forgiveness is an act of your will in obedience and submission to God’s command as you respond to God’s love.
1 John 4:19-21 We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
Start your week off by loving God enough to seek reconciliation with someone you have offended or offended you.