“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” Matthew 5:21-24
My child brought me something she made for me last night.
Aww. Sweet, right?
Sure. Except for one teensie, tiny little detail.
What she made involved doing something that I had specifically instructed her not to do.
That sweet factor took a big hit.
What does a parent feel at that moment?
Pleasure that your child comes bearing gifts?
Displeasure that your child ignored your instruction?
“And Samuel said, ‘Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.’” 1 Samuel 15:22
“For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6
A gift is nice, but not when it comes at the expense of something far greater.