Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Here is a question for you, “When I come to worship God and give my offering, am I responsible for the ill feelings others might have towards me?” One thing I have learned as a pastor is that when I speak in front of a group of people or lead the church in one way or another someone is probably going to be offended. I don’t set out to offend people, but unfortunately it happens. We have all offended someone at one time or another.
Jesus says in Matthew 24:9 that basically if you are his committed follower someone is always going to have something against you. Earlier in this chapter in verse 9 Jesus has also said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Peacemaking is important. So, back to that original question, “When I come to worship God and give my offering am I responsible for the ill feeling others might have toward me?” The simplest answer is... maybe.
There were a lot of people who had ill feelings towards Jesus that he never attempted to reconcile with, but Jesus never sinned. I believe therein lies the answer to the question. Jesus never wronged anyone but that didn’t stop people from having ill feeling towards Him. Because Jesus never sinned and never wronged anyone, he had no need to be reconciled. When answering our original question, ask, “Does a person have ill feelings toward me because I have sinned and wronged them in some way, or is it because of something I have done as a committed follower of Jesus?” If I have sinned and wronged them, I need to go to them and be reconciled. If they are offended because I am doing what I am supposed to be doing as a follower of Jesus then there isn’t much I can do about it. Just don’t get the two mixed up.
Pastor Chris Miller