Matthew 5:23-24 NKJV
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.
Reconciliation is a theme that is consistent throughout the Bible. From the garden of Eden in Genesis we see a God who is compassionate to forgive and restore the relationship between him and man yet it is man who has sinned and offended him. As Jesus said God is like that Shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep in a safe place and then embarks on a quest to search out the one that is lost so that he can bring it back to the fold.
God expects the same of us. Jesus teaches us that if we have brought a gift before God and we remember an issue between us and a brother then we should leave our gift at the altar and seek reconciliation with our brother first.
To reconcile is to settle accounts, to clear the debt, to cater for what is owed. It is also to bring back that relationship that had been torn apart.
As humans we say we have forgiven but we want nothing to do with the person who had offended us ever again. When God forgives us, he does so because he wants everything to do with us. He wants a deep relationship with us yet he knows that we will disappoint him again and again but he still wants us. The God kind of forgiveness is one that stems from love one that forgives in order to restore and rebuild a relationship that has been broken and destroyed.
Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
II Corinthians 5:18 NKJV
When you say you have forgiven, what does that really mean?
What I’d God forgave us but never fully restored his relationship with us because he knows we will sin and disappoint him again?
Do you have a brother / sister who has something against you? Seek him and pursue reconciliation.