“You’re familiar with the commandment that the older generation was taught, ‘Do not murder or you will be judged. But I’m telling you. If you hold anger in your heart toward a fellow believer, you are subject to judgment. And whoever demeans and insults a fellow believer is answerable to the congregation. And whoever calls down curses upon a fellow believer is in danger of being sent to fiery hell. — Mathew 5.21 , 22 (The Passion Translation)
These are challenging and tough straight-down-the-line words from Jesus. I urge you, my brothers and sisters, to check your hearts, especially in this time when the pressure’s on and we’re feeling pressed in on all sides.
Our routines have been challenged by the likes of load-shedding and we are likely to be caught off guard. Pray, think and live more unquestionably Christ-focused life than ever before.
Remember, we’re built for success and born for such a time as this. It’s so easy to fall into the victim mentality and get into blame shifting and say it’s the enemy, or them, or your wife, husband or your dear mother-in-law!
We’re a magnificent nation, and no one, no, no one can take what God has destined for us unless we give it away by acts of free will.
It’s an iron-sharpen-iron time.
If you and a fellow believer find yourselves in conflict, it is the perfect opportunity to go and apologise for any way in which you have caused offence. You cannot expect to be in the line of blessing and opportunity when you know that you have caused a fellow believer to stumble, created confusion, or chaos erupting that resulted from your slander, misrepresentation, or from your own iniquity and character assassination to name but a few.
Jesus goes on to say so clearly that before you go to the altar, go and make right with the said fellow believer, then come to the altar and present your gift (Matthew 5: 23, 24).
Perhaps a different, and more apt, perspective for us as South Africans, is brought into focus as Jesus says before going into court, come to terms with the one who wants to sue you. Settle with a pure heart, or you may be found guilty by the judge, and he will hand you over to the officers who will throw you into prison! That’s pretty graphic (Matthew 5: 25, 26).
There’s grace and strength that the Lord gives us for these times. The Holy Spirit will illuminate the truth of the Word of God that you have need to embrace for your situation. Holy Spirit will teach you how to resolve conflict with each person specifically.
The Truth will set you free.
As David says in Psalm 5.3 — Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on the altar and wait for your fire to fall upon my heart
So it is with us. What a challenge, to have our hearts changed from stone to hearts of compassion and love towards those who stir up evil against us. Yet we say:” Father, forgive them, and bless them and help us to walk in love towards even those who persecute us.”
James says it so simply, “Confess and acknowledge how you have offended one another and then pray for one another to be instantly healed for tremendous power is released through passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer!” — James 5.16 (TPT)
Remember to charge your batteries with love!