“…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.” Matt. 5:23-24
A funeral director in Michigan that was involved in over five thousand funerals was interviewed by a reporter. During the interview, the funeral director was asked if he had learned any notable lessons from his interactions with people dealing with the deaths of loved ones. Among his answers was this, “(I have learned) to resolve conflicts… quicker, because I’ve seen people go off to work who didn’t come home.”
Wise advice. How many times have you or I huffed out of the house in the morning or went to bed with unresolved anger smoldering inside? How often have we put off resolving a conflict by thinking, “I'll take care of it later” or “Let the other person stew awhile.”
But what if we never have the opportunity to make things right? Every day in the U.S. alone hundreds of people leave home, never to return. Hundreds of others go to bed but never awaken. If we truly realized how uncertain this life is, we might never allow anger to fester or a conflict to go unresolved.
The apostle Paul warned, “Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil…” (Eph. 4:26-27). He then added, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).
The best time to apologize or resolve a conflict is TODAY, not “When I get around to it”. Restoring a relationship NOW will not only add to our happiness, it may even save us years of regret.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Mt. 5:9).
Jesus, always Jesus!