“First be reconciled to your brother…”
Whether for anger or disagreement – I think the heart of the matter is TO BE RECONCILED. It really doesn’t matter to Jesus how you got there, just make it right.
In John 17:21 Jesus prayed to the Father: that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
When I aim anger, insults and name calling at someone else in the body of Christ I am, quite literally, shooting myself in the foot. I know I can rationalize and justify my words and even believe I can assuage any guilt with a “nice gift to God” but until I repair the damage, the body bleeds.
Further the onus is on the one who knows someone else has been offended by them. I’ve always thought this to be curious. How could I know? Maybe because I was bringing a gift to the altar –when the Holy Spirit made me aware? That would be just like Him to send me off to do triage.
Oh, and those pesky accusers. Sometimes they just don’t give up even when I have tried to explain. Here Jesus tells me to bend and give and bend some more. It is not as important “who is right” as it is to resolve the tension. To be stubborn will insure I will be out of the game for a long time. Not only will that be painful to me but it will hinder the work Jesus has for me to do for Him.
We have been given the ministry of reconciliation on behalf of those who are far off from God. How effective can we possibly be if we do not begin with each other?
“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling[b] the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” 2 Cor. 5:8-21