Going Home: Restore Relationships
“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.”
Before going to prison my sin, actions and addictions destroyed relationships with my family and friends. For the first year of incarceration, I received no letters, no visits and no money on my books. Have you been in this position too? Perhaps you still are.
It is so important to do whatever you can to try to mend broken relationships. This should be started while you are still incarcerated, and must be pursued after being released.
Today’s verse indicates that broken relationships hinder our relationship with God. We are being hypocritical if we claim to love God but hate others. We are not loving others if we are satisfied in letting personal relationships suffer and go unreconciled.
The most important first step is to humble ourselves, and ask forgiveness for our part in whatever the problem was that led to a bad relationship. It might take the other person a while to forgive, but being the first to reach out with the love of Christ can be a very powerful witness.
Ask your Heavenly Father to show you how to identify relationships that need restoration. Request the Holy Spirit to teach you how to humbly ask forgiveness, and give you the patience to wait on Him to move on the heart of the other person.
Dive Deeper: Study Matthew 5; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13.