Anger is Murder in The Heart

Over twenty-five thousand murders are committed in the United States every year which is an average of nearly seventy a day. This does not include suicides (self murder) and abortions (pre- birth murder) which added to the above is staggering. (Lou Nicholes - Missionary/Author). … More

Murder

In (Genesis 9:6) the penalty for murder and the reason for its seriousness are given. The penalty for murder and the reason for such a severe punishment was that man is made in God’s image. The command “You shall not murder“ (Ex. 20:13) does not prohibit every form of killing a human being but has to do with criminal killing. Many portions of Scripture make it clear that capital punishment, killings in war, accidental homicide and self-defense are excluded.

According to the Pharisees and the beliefs of most religions today, murder is strictly limited to the act of physically taking another person’s life. Jesus explains in this portion of Scripture how sin comes from the attitudes of the heart and that anger is murder in the heart (v.21_22). Jesus did not say that anger leads to murder; He says that anger is murder. In (I John 3:15) we find that in fact to hate someone is to commit murder in our hearts. If you call someone a fool (idiot or moron) you will be in danger of hell. It is true that there is a holy anger against sin (Eph. 4:26) but Jesus is talking here about an unholy anger against people. When you offer a sacrifice to God at the altar and know your brother has something against you, the first thing to do is make peace with him (vv. 23-24).

Sinful anger must be faced honestly and confessed to God as sin. Then we must go to our brother and get the matter settled quickly (vv. 25-26). The command for reconciliation is given to the innocent as well as the guilty party. The Savior went on to say if your adversary (an opponent at law) disagrees with you, it is to your advantage to reconcile with him before he delivers you to the judge. Many people make the foolish mistake of assuming that just because they think they are right in a given situation God will necessarily vindicate them. Jesus’ exhortation here is to urge us to go out of our way to avoid legal conflicts before human judges (v. 40). The payment of debt and the prison referred to simply means the normal legal process that one would encounter in a civil suit. The term prison does not refer to purgatory, but to the full measure of punitive justice.

Application

I need to ask myself  what does anger do to me?  To others?  To whom, if anyone do I need to get some matters made right?

Matthew 5:21-26 (English Standard Version)


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