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I remember years ago that a man wrote a nasty letter to me and included in it a curse and all kinds of false accusations. To this day, I don’t know why he wrote it. It was so vicious and untrue, but he had built up a case against me and it all bubbled out in this letter. It included distorted views of what I had said in messages, and I had no idea he felt this way against me. I went to see him but when he saw me coming he slammed the door in my face and refused to speak with me. When eventually I got some of his friends to speak with him, he agreed to see me and I did all I could to get the relationship right again. It was hard work, and my first desire was to defend myself against the curse and false accusations. But Jesus suggests in Matthew 5 that the relationship is even more important than the case.


Matthew 5:23-26 gets to me every time. It’s one of those passages you just can’t escape.


"So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. "When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison. And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny."

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