Treasure that LastsWhat legacy do you want to leave behind when you die?
Top Christian Music Videos
I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! (v.22).
At its best, anger alerts us to injustice. At its worst, anger becomes murderous in intent. Beyond wanting to see a wrong righted, we find ourselves wishing the destruction of a person—through the use of words if not a gun.
Many years ago, I experienced a dark and prolonged feud with a co-worker. “It troubles me to say this,” I confessed to a friend, “but sometimes I truly wish they were dead.” So tormented had I become that I dreamed of this colleague’s demise. My anger at having been wronged had become ugliness of the highest order.
To the religious leaders of Jesus’ day who followed the letter of the Ten Commandments only (Exodus 20:13), no sin was committed in such situations without actual murder. But Jesus saw beyond murderous acts to their root. Intense anger was the real sin (Matthew 5:22). And murder was only one way this sin could destroy someone.
Raca was an Aramaic word used to insult someone’s intelligence. A modern equivalent might be to call someone a “dipstick” or an “idiot.” Mōre,the Greek word for “fool,” is an exclamation of hatred and is an insult aimed at destroying/blasting someone’s character. It would be like using vulgar terms to call someone worthless or good for nothing. Can you see how murderous these words are? Such contempt dehumanizes a person, declares them worthless, and seeks their destruction. Jesus warned that such words would incur the severest of divine judgment (v.22).
All humans—even our enemies—are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). They’re to be valued. Anger may at times be a natural reaction to others’ wrongdoing, but love is to be our defining characteristic (Matthew 5:44Matthew 5:44). I, for one, need the supernatural love of the Holy Spirit to love those I would otherwise sin against (Romans 5:5). How about you?
Jesus gives two illustrations of how to live out this teaching in Matthew 5:23. Notice how both move to managing others’ anger toward us.
How can Jesus and the Holy Spirit help you to deal with people you might wish were dead? Why is it so abhorrent to God if we ridicule or swear at people?
- Treasure that Lasts - What legacy do you want to leave behind when you die?...read more
- The Lost Virtue - In what common circumstances are you most impatient?...read more
- Right and Wrong Words - Is your tongue quick to criticize but slow to apologize?...read more
- Kindness and Hospitality - How are you using your God-given gifts to love and serve others?...read more
- Rejoicing in Deep Need - What happens when you choose to rejoice in God even when you’re in deep need?...read more
- Staying True - Our ability to stand in the midst of trials will depend on the focus of our gaze....read more
- Write Your Epitaph - How are you growing in your faith and the proclaiming of it?...read more
- What Happens in the End - Are you feeling hopeless and weary? Be reminded of what happens in the end!...read more
- Stop Painting Your Bucket - Who you are is who you are in Jesus....read more
- What We Have - When do you feel most grateful?...read more
- God's Perspective - What has God called you to do that might appear to be too challenging?...read more
- More than Walking on Water - Do you ever find yourself focusing more on what God can do than on who He is?...read more
- The Spirit’s Wind - In what areas of your life have you been laboring in your own strength instead of God’s power?...read more
- Laying Down Your Life - What does it mean for you to embrace Jesus as the One who laid down His life for you?...read more
- Hidden Costs - What are some ways you can avoid falling prey to Satan’s hidden costs this week?...read more
- Limits - How often are you weary or stressed from church work?...read more