Leave Your Gift at the Altar

IMG_2305Yesterday, I had lunch at the diner with my husband and another couple. We stayed for quite a long time, chatting and catching up on the news. It wasn’t until we were out in the car that I realized that we had been there almost 2 hours.

We had left a 20% tip, as we usually do. But we had been there so long, that the waitress may have missed out on two other sets of customers.

I woke up this morning to get ready for church. But I had a nagging that we had overstayed our welcome at the diner yesterday, and I had to make it right.

Two scriptures came to mind:

1. “For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it about oxen that God is concerned? Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.”  1 Corinthians 9:9-10 (NIV)

Don’t muzzle an ox while he is working. Let him eat. Or for our fellow humans–don’t take advantage of someone who is working for you.

2. “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you; leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”  —Matthew 5:23-24 (NIV)

In other words, before you truck off to church to sing praises to God, make sure that your relationships with your fellow humans are right. God isn’t impressed when you hurt other people, and then rush off to Church on time and act all holy.

So, I had to make things right. I drove to the diner, explained the situation to the manager and gave him some money to give the waitress when she comes in tomorrow. Mondays are not happy days for most of us; but hopefully hers will be a little brighter when she gets what is rightfully owed to her.

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