“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. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
Matthew 5 : 25 – 26
I love to watch a good courtroom drama! Regardless of the crime or dispute, there’s something about getting really stuck into a movie with lots of twists and turns and revelations and where you watch how people cope when their behaviour is held up for close inspection. One thing is for sure, by the end you can guarantee there is no love lost between the plaintiff and the defendant. Reconciliation is not a strong feature of courtroom dramas!
In this passage Jesus continues with a theme of avoiding hostilities and seeking reconciliation and we are particularly being urged to reach agreement with those we owe a debt to or are in conflict with before it is too late. The implication here is that there comes a time where there is no turning back and no opportunity for a relationship to be recovered.
It can sometimes be difficult to admit that we are in the wrong, even if we know deep down that we are. Or where someone has wronged us, it can be tempting to gain strength from holding on to a sense of injustice. But Jesus urges us to actively seek reconciliation so that grace and mercy can win through.
What does this mean for our relationships with each other? Are there any circumstances where we need to hold out an olive branch so that the process of reconciliation can begin?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we know that, whatever wrong actions we take, you love us and forgive us and that we are reconciled to you. Help us to model that reconciliation in the world around us. Amen
Action: Think of someone who has done you wrong in the past or someone you may have hurt through something you’ve said or done. Reach out to them with a call or a message or simply remember them especially in your prayers today.