Where does anger come from? I am not a psychologist, but I have some clues as to the source of my own anger. I am a very self-centered person. I want you to be impressed with me and I want things my way. When I am disrespected or my will is violated, I do not behave well. I grumble, I complain and I get angry. My anger sometimes explodes, but usually just makes me unpleasant.
Matthew 5:21-26 (CSB)
21 “You have heard that it was said to our ancestors, Do not murder, and whoever murders will be subject to judgment. 22 But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Whoever insults his brother or sister, will be subject to the court. Whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be subject to hellfire. 23 So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you 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 with your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Reach a settlement quickly with your adversary while you’re on the way with him to the court, or your adversary will hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison.26 Truly I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid the last penny.
What did the law say? The 6th commandment is “Thou shall not murder.” We would agree this is wrong. Most of us can be smug knowing we have not broken this commandment. But, Jesus takes it further. He challenges us to broaden the view of this commandment. He says not only should we not murder, but we are not to be angry, insult or call others a “fool”. I do not know exactly what is meant calling someone a fool, but I am well familiar with being angry and insulting others. I am guessing you are also familiar with being both the perpetrator and the recipient of the anger and insults of others. Jesus equates these attitudes with murder. We are held accountable. He continually challenges us to go beyond an outward set of rules and look at our hearts. We are not just to obey rules, but we are to be different. We are to be like Him.
So where does this leave us today? Are you harboring malice and hate in your heart toward another person. Today is a good day for confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Today is a good day to clear out anything that is causing a rift between you and God.