We have always been told to put God first in our lives. But sometimes
it seems that even in scripture, God comes second. Notice the order of
things? Jesus said that before you make your offering to God, first be
reconciled with someone who has something against you. That seems a bit
odd. We have always been taught that God come first in a Christian’s
life. We do not give God the leftovers and scraps of our crops or
flocks or money or time.
When it comes to worship, our heart, mind, and soul should be focused
only on God and on giving God honor and glory. God comes first,
especially in worship. But Jesus is saying that there is at least one
circumstance, even during worship, when God comes second. The
circumstance is simple. When anger drives a wedge between you and
someone else, it is more important for you to be reconciled with that
person than for you to present your offering to God. Jesus says that
reconciliation is more important than any offering.
But what if we are the injured party? It works the same way. Either
way, reconciliation between two people who are at odds with each other
is more important to God than any amount of offering because
reconciliation cuts off the path that leads to bitter anger and
violence. This should not really surprise us. God is all about
reconciliation and so is Jesus.
So, when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that
your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift
before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister,
and then come and offer your gift. This is when God comes second.