Acceptable Offerings?

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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

This passage makes a few things clear upon deeper inspection.

Conflict among people will arise.

Not all conflict is something we may initiate. Someone may have taken issue with us. However, God still wants to use the conflict to teach us about humility, worship and restoration. Because we are all sinners and at times simply misunderstood, God uses times of conflict show us our need for forgiveness and reconciliation.

God is concerned more about the gift of relationships than our offerings.

Jesus makes it clear in this passage that even if we are prepared to give an offering unto the Lord but we remember that someone isn’t right with us, we are to go and make things as right as possible (Romans 12:18). The point is if we remember we are not reconciled then go fix the relationship because we cannot be right with God if we are not right with each other.

A Christian who is seeking God will make the first move toward reconciliation.

God has demonstrated this toward us and expects us to do the same as His children. A leader is to initiate reconciliation and not contribute to dissection. A leader is to seek every means possible to make peace and restore relationships. Any offering made to God without seeking to be right with one another isn’t accepted by God. An offering made to God is to be made symbolizing worship and gratitude and neither of those things can be experienced when there is conflict between followers of Jesus.

Repentance + reconciliation= acceptable offerings. This is the equation God has established for His people. God’s greatest desire is for peace with Him and others. We should always seek to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9).

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