Today’s Reading: Matthew 5:21-26
I heard one of my friends in the Navy tell me a story about when he was driving home from work. He began by saying in a loud exaggerated voice.
“Man, I was in my lane going about the speed limit. When all of a sudden this car came out of nowhere and cut me off. I mean within inches.”
“I was so mad that I followed that car so close that I could smell the interior.”
“We went in and out of traffic. Finally the car took an exit and I was right on it.”
“We were speeding through the neighborhood and then the car pulled into a driveway.” “I slammed on my brakes and skidded the car in front of the house and waited for the guy to get out of the car so that I could…”
“Then I saw. It was an old lady shaking so bad she could hardly walk. I even think she mouthed the words to me ‘I’m sorry’.”
Too often we let our emotions run our lives. Especially our anger. In today’s reading, Jesus addresses the issue and equates it to breaking a Commandment. Remember yesterday when we read that Jesus was the fulfillment of the law and that no one is able to keep all of the Law? This is the first point that He makes. Anger left unsettled is the same as MURDER!
What? Yes, that is exactly what it means. If you are angry with someone you just murdered them in your heart. But wait! That’s not all! Jesus also takes this opportunity to also go one step further and teach on reconciliation. You should go first to the person who wronged you and reconcile while you are on the way. This way you are ready for worship.
I know there are many different applications here but these two are the most outstanding;
1. Anger left unsetteled is the same as murder (only in heart not action)
2. In order to get your heart right you must be reconciled to your brothers
As you go about today think about who you may have wronged. Maybe someone you know that has something against you. Think of a way of reconciliation. Pray about the situation and ask for boldness. Ask God to give you wisdom in the situation and the words to say.
Also ask God to bring awareness in situations that make you angry. Think of the person the story and put yourself in both perspectives.