This is an article I wrote a couple years ago, but it fits in with what I have been blogging on lately.
I am thinking about how important relationship is to the Lord. We as "born again" Christians are quick to say that Christianity is a relationship not a religion. This could not be more right! God is all about relationship. Jesus sums up God's whole law with two relationship sayings "love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength" and "love your neighbor as you love yourself." (Luke 10:27)
I know some Christians who feel like as long as they are doing OK with God, their relationship to other Christians is not so important. They can be at outright war with other brothers and sisters in Christ, not speaking to one another for years, and still consider themselves to be in a good spiritual place with the Lord.
Jesus said some things that militate against this idea. Consider this:
Mark 11:25-26 "And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."
Matthew 5:23-24 "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you; Leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift."
These two scriptures take away any excuses we may have. In Mark Jesus said if you have anything against anyone, forgive them, or you can consider your forgiven status forfeit. Ok I can live with this because it is about me. If I have a problem with someone I get it, I need to make it right.
But what about this gem from the Sermon on the Mount? Now it is my problem if someone has something against me. WOW, it sounds like God is really serious about us getting our relationships right. In both of these cases Jesus has us in the posture of approaching God, with prayers and sacrifices, and Jesus would rather we stop the service, and fix the relationships. He did not say, Jot down a note to call so and so when you get home, but he said leave your gift, go be reconciled, and then do your business with God.
John said it this way: 1John 4:20-21 "If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loves God love his brother also."
It is time to do this relationship thing right. [Tweet This]
Thanks for reading!
Peace wall, Belfast - photo credit - http://www.flickr.com/photos/a11sus/460787247/