21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
25 “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. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
Dear God, these are some very high standards. I can understand the part about hating someone being the same as murder, but being angry with them and not having it resolved? Wow, that seems pretty harsh.
Reconciling with people can sometimes be hard. Our lives have so many relationships. There are relationships with our family of origin, our spouses and children, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and just people we know about around town or on the news. Within each of these relationships is the potential of anger. Frankly, as a father I experience anger a couple of times a week. I wish it weren’t true, but it is. And sometimes it is difficult to reconcile because you have a kid who is just as angry. On the other side of it, however, is my responsibility to model reconciliation to the child so that when they grow up they can know how to handle the relationships in their own home.
Father, I think one of the most important parts of reconciliation within families is the aspect of modeling. We need to model for them. We need to help them to know how to reconcile with their spouses and their children. The results if we don’t model that for them can be catastrophic for their future relationships. So help me to model it for them, and help them to learn from my mistakes when I don’t model it from them. Make this a lesson that I live as I really do earnestly try to be the man you need me to be.