Summary: Is there a relationship in your life that needs some attention? Jesus says to get to that first.
Time: Use It While You've Got It!
Text: Matthew 5:23
Some men have the genetic problem of hair loss. Basically, having a hard time holding onto their hair. Some have suggested that the hair is merely being pushed out by the rapidly expanding intelligence and that sounds very scientifically credible to those with the problem. Like that man who lost all his hair in a very short time, well, almost all of it. He had that one hair that didn't fall out. And did he take care of that one hair! He made sure it was shampooed, and rinsed, moussed, and razor cut, and styled, until that awful morning he woke up and found that hair on his pillow. A shriek went through the house and he screamed at the top of his lungs, "Oh no! I'm bald!"
He didn't wake up to what was going on until there was nothing left! That's the very mistake you might be making right now in one of your important relationships.
Matthew 5:23 "If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift."
Jesus is saying, "If you've got a breaking or broken relationship, drop everything and get to fixing it immediately, you don't have anything more important to do. You say, "Wouldn't it make more sense to finish this worship service first?" He said, "No, first, go and be reconciled before:
-you do any more work,
-any more worship,
-any more study,
-any more anything.
The problem is that we let walls and resentments grow, and like the man who was the last one to call himself bald, we wait until the relationship is gone before we face it.
It could be that somewhere in your life right now there is a hurting relationship. There is someone hurting, maybe someone you've wounded or insulted or neglected or ignored. Maybe there's a husband or wife, a son or daughter or maybe another loved one who is suddenly crying, "I need you, and you're not here." Don't wait to act - don't wait to notice until it's too late.
I heard a story about a man waited for the emergency room. That's where they were fighting to save the life of his teenage daughter who had just attempted suicide. Thankfully, the girl survived. And the man finally faced the issues that were slowly destroying his little girl. He said, "I'm so sorry for the ways I've treated you and the affection I haven't given you. I've been copying the way my father treated me and I know you have needed a different kind of father. Please forgive me."
She was almost gone before he could say he was sorry. Don't wait for the emergency room. By the way, that night was a turning point to a new and closer relationship.
Is there a relationship in your life that needs some attention? Jesus says to get to that first. It means facing your mistakes, facing your neglect, maybe your conflicts. It may mean apologizing, maybe forgiving. Reaching out with love they can feel, making time for someone you love but you've been too busy for. So many parents are so busy establishing their lives that they have no time for their children.