READ: Matthew 5: 21-26
- The Law forbade murder. In fact, murder was a capital offense in the Old Testament. If you took another man’s life intentionally, you could be put to death. But, Jesus takes that Law and reaches into the heart with it. He knows that premeditated murder is most always caused by anger. Often, other forms of manslaughter come from fits of rage. So, Jesus addresses the core of the issue. He forbids anger and even verbal expressions of that anger.
- We have become so accustomed to road rage, shopping cart bumping, arguments over fences, and news reports of former employees shooting up the place, that we’ve almost become immune to anger. We no longer recognize it as anything other than normal. It isn’t. It should never be. We are invited to seek the heart of God who always seeks to understand the backstory behind every situation.
- Imagine what our community (or family) would be like if anger was under control. What would it be like to live in a situation where people approached others with understanding? How might your life be different if you allowed others to approach you with concerns without you getting upset? What would driving be like if drivers simply treated other drivers with respect? Imagine a world where the first response is understanding, is peace, is controlled feelings, instead of an angry outburst…or worse.
- What are the kinds of situations that seem to light your fuse?
- What do you do to cultivate a more peaceful approach toward others?
- Why do you think Jesus spoke so strongly on the issue of anger?
PRAY: Thank God that He controls His anger. Pray that you can control yours. Ask Him to help you see what triggers your responses so you can cultivate new means of responding.