February 21, 2024

Reconciliation is More Important than Worship

boy and girl

As Christians, we tend to think that the most important thing we can do is to worship God.  In fact, that’s part of the response to the question of “What was I created to do?” where you’re supposed to reply, “To love and worship God forever.”

However, Christ wanted to make a point in the Sermon on the Mount about relationships, and he placed an interesting emphasis.

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;  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 5:23-24

What He was saying is this– you can’t worship Me correctly if you have a problem with your brother.  If there’s a known offense, if there’s something blocking your relationship with others, then you should get that right first.

We hear a lot of talk about the “horizontal” and “vertical” of relationships– they are interwoven such that a person that doesn’t have one relationship right will have problems with the other.

This is exactly what is meant when it says in the Epistles that if we offend our wives our prayers will be hindered.  It’s also behind the idea in John where it says that if you love God, you should love your brothers in Christ– for who can love someone they cannot see if they cannot even love someone that they can?

It’s not to say that Worship isn’t important– it is!  It’s to say that to get to the best possible worship you can, you have to be living right, and getting reconciled with a brother is a great step toward that.

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