September 28th 2010

Be Right With God And Neighbour

“If then thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee, Leave there thine offering before the altar, and go thy way: first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”
Matthew 5:23-24 (Geneva Bible, with modern spelling)

As an on-call engineer, I responded to a call about a computer system that was down. Last call of the day, time to spare, so a friendly chat with the system operator, who was disabled. Soon we were talking about cars and inevitably the claims became exaggerated and the chat became heated.

I left and on the following days I felt remote from God, I prayed in vain until I asked the Lord what had gone wrong. The answer came to me that I had been wrong in that chat about cars. Oh, really. I guess this was the moment I got on my high horse and dug my heels in.

A few more days and I got back down and began to understand that I had been wrong. I read Mathew 5 and saw that I had to sort the situation out. I would have to go to see the operator and apologise. That was easier said than done, as he worked the night shift normally, and getting into the building without being called there was not easy. The switchboard was not in at night either, so a call could not get to him.

So I went in prayer to the Lord and confirmed I would sort it as soon as I could get to him. My prayer life improved a little bit but it was weeks till I could get to the man. I did and I apologised to him—it was not difficult. His response, “No problem mate, I enjoyed the chat, thanks for it. You see, here on the night shift I get awful lonely, and a good argument cheers me up!”

So good had come out of it for him. And I had learned the lesson from Matthew 5. I went my way walking on air and my prayer life regained its strength. Now I had achieved humility and a whole new understanding that our gift to God is the precious contact in prayer that reaches out, child to Father. The point is that when we have a wrong attitude the way can be blocked till we understand the need for humbleness.

Lord, we get ourselves into many difficulties through our lack of humility. We don’t for one moment mean to, so show us ourselves, to guide us through these flaws. Surely then we will serve you better.

Study by Eric Wood 

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