Loving God Impacts our Love for Others (Through the Gospels)
So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift ^Matthew 5:23-24. (Click to read entire passage)
I once heard someone say, “Your love for God is equivalent to the person you love the least.” What a bold and insightful statement. When I first heard this, I understood the pastor to mean that our love for people is directly correlated to how much we love God.
It is impossible to be in the presence of our heavenly Father and yet hate one of His children. Jesus is getting at the same issue here. Jesus says, “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your lift.” Why does Jesus give this illustration?
True Christianity is expressed in our actions towards others. Our experiences with God will have a direct impact on the way we love and treat other people. It is sinful and wrong to offer worship to God without a genuine heart of love and grace towards others. If you look at this passage, Jesus asks us to love and reconcile with people who have wronged us. People who have wronged you are the people that God asks you to love. Why? Because that’s exactly what Jesus did for us.
We have wronged Him and offended Him, but He extended His hand of grace and mercy to us. When we experience this love, it enables us to let go of our bitterness and anger. The love of God softens the hardest of hearts. Today, as you think about His love towards you, may it empower you to forgive and love those who have hurt you in the past.