Think, Act, Be Day 48: Matthew 5:21-26
First be reconciled to your brother or sister.
People treat religion the way that most teenagers treat parental boundaries. They follow the rules while asking, “How much can I do without getting grounded for life?”
Jesus saw our faith and the people in our world as an ongoing love relationship with him. Righteousness for believers meant going above and beyond for others. Attitudes and behavior toward others are just as important to our heart condition as the way we follow God’s laws. To live righteously is to treat others respectfully. Instead of harboring revenge, a believer goes out of his way to see the other person as a brother or sister, seeking reconciliation even before giving an offering. He preempts bitterness by making friends with those who file lawsuits.
In so doing, we see a vision of the world the way Christ intended.
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.