Extended reading: Matthew 5:17 – 20 Jesus comes to fulfill the Law
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
My first reaction reading this scripture is I’m in trouble! If I am in danger of the fire of hell every time I think someone is foolish, I’m in BIG trouble.
Anger is a human emotion that God instilled in us for a purpose. We see instances in scripture when Jesus was angry. It is the way we respond to the anger that is important. If we dwell on it, and allow it to play over and over in our minds aren’t we condemning ourselves to the hell fire of resentment? Don’t we consider ourselves better than “those people”. If we carry these burdens in our heart won’t it eventually escape our lips? Can we give our lives completely to God if we are hampered by unpleasant thoughts or regret for harsh words? If we become so distracted by our frustration and annoyances we can easily miss the direction The Holy Spirit would lead us.
I don’t believe God intends for us to be doormats for anyone. But we also can’t justify our behavior and attitudes based feeling wronged by anyone else.
Lord, guard my thoughts today. Help me to let go of things out of my control that I find disappointing. I want to abide in you so that I am sheltered from the constant barrage of bitterness and contempt tossed about so freely in the world today. Lord, Give me eyes to see as you see, and a heart to love as you love. Grant me your peace beyond my understanding so that I may serve you and come unhindered to your alter and give you the gift of my life that you have first given me. Thank you Lord, In Jesus Name Amen