Hostility is a bitter, deadly cancer of the soul. If allowed to metastasize, its possessor will be eternally punished in the fires of hell (Matthew 5:22).
Not only does Jesus strongly condemn this dangerous spiritual killer, the Great Physician also prescribes the preventative antidote for it. It reads: “Therefore 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. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny” (Matthew 5:23-26).
Real righteousness requires reconciliation.
Reconciliation is the only way to inhibit the origin and development of a murderous heart. Two simple words exquisitely explain the priority and urgency of reconciliation.
- “First”. Worship cannot be used to whitewash a lack of reconciliation. Worship is no substitute for reconciliation. In Jesus’ illustration, reconciliation is prioritized above worship. Yes, reconciliation is THAT important.
- “Quickly”. Protecting your ego, defending your unrighteous tone and/or words, or saving face is not necessary. Reconciliation is. Just like a snake bite, removing the deadly poison of hostility from your heart is urgent. Yes, reconciliation is THAT important.
No human can pay his debts to God. This is what makes “Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny” so extremely sobering.
A hostile heart is a hell-bound heart; so, regardless of whether you have offended or have been offended, reconcile.