5. a. Deuteronomy 5:17
b. Jesus points to the heart issue behind the motivation to commit murder, not just the act of murder itself. Rather than merely restraining our hands from committing a violent act, we should repent/forgive and if possible, reconcile with our brother or sister in the faith.
6. Loving one another goes beyond forgiveness and reconciliation to the point of denying ourselves—laying down our lives for one another and sharing our worldly goods. This is particularly poignant given the current financial condition of several friends. Our own income has dropped dramatically in the past few months, so, painfully, there is less to share.
Yesterday we learned that a local man, near and dear to our hearts, who collects day old and out of date food from grocery stores to distribute to the poor is in dire need of funds. He lives on social security and relies on donors to help pay for the gas in the small car he uses for distribution. All of his regular donors—including us—have been greatly impacted by the sluggish economy. He lays his life down more than anyone I know.
Difficult circumstances bring us to our knees and to each other.
7. When you are about to present a gift at the altar, and you remember your brother has a grievance against you,
leave your gift at the altar,
go and make peace with your brother,
then go back and present your offering.
Update—I took this question in a more literal sense—giving the points from the verse itself. Others answered it other ways: Put pride aside; reconcile with man, then go to God.
My favorite answer was about the importance of timing. The point is, don’t delay. It also occurs to me now, when we remember our brother has a grievance against us, it’s likely the Holy Spirit who did the reminding. Similar to the verse about husbands showing consideration to their wives so that their prayers are not hindered. 1 Peter 3:7
8. We are responsible for maintaining good relationships with others. We must forgive from our hearts without keeping records. If we are merciful, we will receive mercy. If we forgive, we will receive forgiveness. This is most certainly a challenge. I know it is for me.