So, if you are presenting a sacrifice (a gift) at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

Matthew 5:23-24

By Penny Madsen

Reading this passage mad me look at the way I treat and especially the way I think about people. We cannot become all that God wants us to be if we harbor resentment or bitterness.

Never go to bed angry, the old saying goes, or bad feelings will harden into resentment.

It is vital that we make the choice to forgive and even to reconcile with the person who has hurt us. Being angry at someone, or having malice, no matter how big or small, is still a sin. We cannot participate in arguments or fights between others, and then act as if we can just pray to God and everything will be fine between God and us. We cannot assemble with others of like faith and imagine that we are really, truly, and faithfully representing the people of God. To truthfully, faithfully represent a person of God we must strive to heal our relationships and seek justice and righteousness. Reconciling relationships has a holy sacred spiritual aspect. Resolving disputes should take priority over religious rituals.

“When you forgive someone, you are as close to God as you will ever be, because in forgiveness you are demonstrating the very heart of God.” Quote by Pastor Max Lucado