Day 12 – Settle matters quickly

Matthew 5:21 – 26
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. 23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. 25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

Jewish teachers were teaching that only actual murder was forbidden by the sixth commandment. Jesus corrects them and says not so; for any anger that leads to slander, scorn or scandal is murder of the heart. Come to the altar, ebulliently and with much to offer but with disdain for your brother and like Cain’s offering it too will be rejected. Why? Once again Jesus seems to be communicating to us, that people are God’s greatest treasure. More than any offering you and I can bring to the altar is the offering of treating all of His with dignity, respect and love.

So settle matters quickly, to be angry, is to be human. To hold on to that anger, to avoid the matter, to decide that it’s not worth confrontation, humility, forgiveness or repentance is to render yourself unfit for communion with the Father. So we pray; forgives us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.

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