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 there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24 NRSV)

We need to know that unresolved anger is a spiritual issue. There is a sense of urgency in Jesus' words. When relationships are strained, whether it's our fault or not, we are to go at once and try our best to reconcile.

Two sisters spent the day fighting. That evening they prepared for bed, still mad at each other. As usual, they knelt by the side of their beds for their prayers. "Dear God," the 8-year-old began, "Bless Daddy and Mommy, bless our cat and dog." Then she stopped. Her mother gently prodded, "Didn't you forget somebody?" She glared across the bed at her 6-year-old sister and added, "And, oh yes, God, bless my ex-sister."

Sometimes we wish it were that easy, don't we? But our brothers and sisters don't become `ex's' just because we are angry. We were created for relationship. Broken relationships tear at the very reason behind our existence. Jesus wants us to resolve our differences for the stake of our spiritual health.

God of peace, bring peace to my broken relationships. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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