Sunday, February 17, 2013

TIME TO TESTIFY (Giving at the Altar)

"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."
--- Matthew 5:23-24
     I love to give and because I know God has blessed me with the gift of giving, I often give generously. And especially to my dear loving Father, I love giving ALL of myself to Him.
     So this scripture weighed heavily on my heart for such a very long time. You see, I have a very strained relationship with a family member. The worst part is, the relationship became strained over a material possession.
     I have offered this possession to this person but for some reason they feel they dont have to pay me for what I've spent on it.  Twice I  have even gone so far as to share this possession with them but both times, they contributed nothing financially and very little labor towards this possession. Thereby, leaving me with no other choice than to give them the ultimatium: either contributing financially or by labor or I would have to stop sharing it with them.
     Well, needless to say, they felt they had no obligation to pay or contribute anything. Therefore, I had no other choice but to stop sharing this possession with them. When I did this, they became very bitter and angry with me.
     I wanted to make things right, so a couple of years later, I went to this persons workplace and I gave them a $25 Red Lobster gift card as a peace offering. I even went as far as to give this person, and their insignificant other, food --- I love giving food because everybody likes to eat so what better way to show them love than by giving them food. This food wasn't like the commodities you get from the food bank and charities. I gave them steaks, marinated fajita meat, and etc. So I felt better knowing things were good amongst us.
     Little did I know just how wrong I was. This person, although they spoke to me and accepted my gifts, still harbored such a resentful and deep hatred for me that they told hateful lies about me and tried to slander my character and ruin my reputation. All over material possession!
     So this scripture greatly disturbed me and I prayed for forgiveness. That's when the Holy Spirit came upon me and told me not to fear.
     You see, I had done my part. I tried to make peace with this person but it is they who chose to harbor hatred against me. Over material possession, none the less!
     Because I have done all I possibly could do to make peace, God has smiled upon me and blessed me. And He, to this day, continues to bless me beyond any possible measure. Because, you see, I didn't allow this person's hatred, actions, or words interfere with what I knew was the right thing to do. I mean, before becoming a loyal and faithful servant for the Lord, I would have easily felt hatred towards this person and retaliated also. But I didn't. I still have great love for them. But I've come to realize that I'm not responsible for their actions and I must not let their actions influence my desire to please my God. 
     God knows I cannot change this person but He is pleased with my attempts to create peace and show love. It is because of my efforts to reconcile with them that God accepts my gifts at the altar and this also pleases me.

"People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway."  --- Mother Teresa

     So I want to encourage you... should your brother or sister have something against you, if you made attempts to make peace and reconcile yet, they refuse your offering of peace, just know your Heavenly Father in His Kingdom is watching all. Therefore, He sees all and He is aware of your efforts and He will be pleased with you and He will gladly accept your gifts at the altar.
Love and Blessings!
~ One Love ~