In Matthew 5:23, Jesus says, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the alter and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the alter. First go and be reconciled to our brother.”
To the surprise of the listeners, Jesus, the son of most high God was not giving first priority to worshipping God, but to the process of reconciliation with a brother. He went to the extent that even though you are right at the alter and have brought gifts to honour your God, Just leave them right there at the alter and go and make peace with your brother.
Why is it so important to reconcile with others. Simply, because God desires his worshippers to worship him in spirit and in truth (John4:24). When we have something wrong against others, we become slaves to all sorts of negative feelings but the moment we make peace with them, our freedom comes back.
How does it happen? Lets take a look:
The process of reconciliation starts in our mind with a desire to understand the other person better. We might be wronged for reasons we may not be aware of. May be the one who has wronged us, may not be aware that it has happened. It could be that it was done purposely to correct us or for some other reasons. Jesus didn’t teach us to “forget and forgive”. Rather, he is asking us to confront the situation with the intention to make peace. Do not run away from the situation but go to the one who has something wrong against you. The end result of the confrontation should be very clear in our mind, that is reconciliation.
What if the other person is not willing to even talk to us? Still we could try and our efforts will be fruitful if we do it sincerely. For nothing ever go waste if we do it in Lord’s way. Soon, we will see the end result as the change in that person’s behaviour.
Making peace with each other is more important to Jesus than worshipping God. That doesn’t mean we should neglect worshipping God. But everything should be done in order as the Lord says, “Give to God what belongs to God and to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.”