“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there
remember that your brother has something against you, leave
your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to
your brother; then come and offer your gift.”
If you learn that someone has something against you, God wants you to take the initiative in seeking peace — even if you do not believe you have done anything wrong.Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 148.
Food for Thought
Q: What if I had no idea that I had offended Jim?
A: If you had no idea, then you’re not responsible. But if you learn or overhear or even get a vague sense that things aren’t quite right between you and Jim, then you are responsible.
Q: So I’m responsible to do what? Talk with Jim? Confront him? What?
A: We must remember that taking the initiative always has a goal — seeking peace. Peacemaking may begin with conversation and progress to confrontation. Then again, it may involve extending kind words or clarifying hurt feelings. There are many different facets, but the gem is called making peace. And the first step is to “go.”
Q: But what if I haven’t done anything wrong to Jim? To take the initiative seems so counter-intuitive.
A: It’s all a matter of obedience. The heart of the matter is not, “Were you right or wrong?” but “Will you be obedient?” God asks you to take the initiative in seeking peace. In this way, you are imitating God himself, who took the initiative to seek peace with you. Yes, it may feel counter-intuitive, but the ways that seem right to us oftentimes lead to death. God’s ways lead to life. It’s not just because He said so. It’s because He loves us so.