Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, in order that your opponent may not deliver you to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.
Don’t worry; you aren’t going to prison because of that four-letter word you threw at your friend yesterday. In fact, you probably won’t be heading to prison unless you seriously hurt your friend out of anger. Nonetheless, Jesus’ words to His followers are extremely important to us today. They deal with anger, one of the most evident of our human weaknesses.
If the truth is to be told, not even the Jews sent people to prison for their sins. This was a Gentile practice. The point of Christ’s warning isn’t to avoid prison, but to encourage quick reconciliation between His followers and those that they had wronged. As noted in yesterday’s devotion, harboring anger in your heart leads to a hindered relationship with God. So important is this truth, that Jesus makes two analogies concerning the urgency associated with the need to seek forgiveness. The second of these two analogies takes place on the road to the courthouse. Any hesitation to seek forgiveness and reconciliation will result in an impending judgment. There’s no time for second thoughts.
Have you still not sought out forgiveness from someone you’ve offended? How can you hope to have a honest conversation with the Lord while you harbor anger, resentment, or pride inside of you? I challenge you to let go of that pride and to do what Jesus commands you to do. You may not be on your way to prison, but judgment most definitely looms on the horizon!