If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift—Matthew 5:23-24
Preparation never ends. It’s a continual process that continues until you are done. Athletes are constantly preparing, students are ever-learning, and the Christian is daily compelled by Christ’s example to practicing godliness. We will not perfect it here but we can continually practice it.
Being heroic is not what life is about.It can be tempting with our superstar “Christians” and celebrity pastors to buy into the thinking that this is the life God wants for all His Children. What God wants is each of His Children walking in Light and Love before Him.
In so doing, Christ may shine His Light on what seems to be an insignificant inaction of love, a small hurt or unreconciled thought in your heart. It could be a huge offense that has been forgotten until the Holy Spirit reminds you. At this point, The Lord expects you to practice “godliness” by “goingness”.
In this passage, Jesus instructs His followers that it is impossible to be wrong with your brother and still be right with God. Jesus is not looking for our “gifts” but godliness. Obtaining such a measure is not found in admitting I have committed an offense but confession of that offense to the offended party and seeking reconciliation. God doesn’t remind us of these things for no good reason. His intention is for us to reconciled to one another that we may be reconciled to Him.
We can seek out doing something outrageous and ostentatious like bringing a gift or making a sacrifice but God wants us to simply obey. When conviction comes, the convicted runs. In this case, we should run to be reconciled to others that we would be reconciled to God.
God is not trying to wage some battle with you over a huge sacrifice but rather confront you on a small disobedience. It is in the smallness of this disobedience that “self” proves to be alive and well. And “self” can never please God.
For more on this topic read: My Utmost For His Highest