21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’[d] 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” (Matthew 5).
It does not matter what someone else does to you, if you are aware that someone is hurt and/or alienated by you and has anger towards you, it is your job to go and be reconciled. Release this person from their anger and alienation. This is what Jesus did for us. He calls us to do the same:
Every time we are angry about our circumstances and resist our present reality, we are essentially angry at God. When we think, “Where is God in this?”; “Why didn’t God answer my prayer?”; “Why doesn’t God hear me?”, we are essentially holding our fist up in anger to God. We are resisting reality, rejecting REALITY: GOD.
(I think) God knew that we, as humans, had completely misunderstood Him and the reality of our earthly existence. Therefore, he “took the hit.” He became reconciled to us. He came down to earth as a humble servant and said:
“look, this is Me: a human, a baby, a friend, a son, a brother. I am not far off. In fact, I am right here, right now. I am approachable. You are not forgotten. You are not alone. No need to mistrust me. I am not angry with you. Please don’t be angry with me (because of your misperceptions of me)…No need to hold a grudge against me for your suffering. I, too, suffer. And suffering is only temporary because it is a part of this earth.”
Jesus came to earth to be reconciled to us.
Therefore, we are to go to others and be reconciled to them–when we know that they have bone to pick with us–Just like Jesus did. Jesus does not tell us to go to someone who made us angry and tell them that they are a jerk. On they contrary, when you know that someone thinks you are a jerk and has anger towards you, Jesus says for us to go and make things right with that person or persons….
So much of our conditioning (whether it be religious conditioning, society’s conditioning, or the conditioning of our family of origin) is to go to someone and tell them when they piss you off. And say, “hey, you pissed me off. I am not going to talk to you anymore if you don’t admit it and apologize for it…” Sadly, I have done this (as a proclaiming Christian), and I have had Christians do it to me.
It is the extreme opposite of what Christ did and what Christ preached. If someone has made you angry, you are supposed to have already gotten over your ego and forgiven that person–essentially allowing that person to be a human being.
On the other hand, if you are aware that you have angered or hurt someone, according to the actions and words of Jesus Christ, you are supposed to go to that person who holds a grudge against you, and make it right. Essentially, you are supposed to release that person from his/her anger (out of love for that persona and love for God).
How do you make it right? How do you release a person from anger–especially towards you? You, in some way, express such love and humility toward that person that his/her anger is dissolved by unconditional love and acceptance. At some level, you must–we must–accept the fact that you played a part in the suffering of another human being, and humbly go make it right. This is really hard to do. It takes a lot of death to ego. It takes a lot of actually acting like Christ. Wow. What a concept for us self proclaiming “Christ followers”!
Every situation is different. So, there is not one formula for all people and all situations when it comes to reconciling. The point is, you are called to “take the hit.” You are supposed to reach out with a hand of love and acceptance. RECONCILIATION is Christianity. It goes back to how you would treat Christ. Whatever you did to make this person angry, would you do to Christ? (Matthew 25:45).