“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” Matthew 5:23-26
Dear Jesus, I live among a people that are addicted to litigation. Every car wreck and every mishap in the hospital is punctuated by law suits. It bleeds down to our personal relationships where we seem to be more interested in getting even or ahead than reconciled. Our marriages are ravaged, our friendships shattered and neighbors live in cool tension with one another. Give me the spirit of your word here, that leads me to resolve conflict with forgiveness, compromise and peace-loving friendship. Help me see the value in winning them over rather than winning over my enemies. Amen.
Conflict is an opportunity to unleash the gospel at street level. Don’t mess it up by trying to win.