Summary: When we fail to forgive others who have hurt us we give in to the spirit of revenge and resentment.
After spending 3-1/2 hours enduring the long lines, surly clerks and insane regulations at the Department of Motor Vehicles, I stopped at a toy store to pick up a gift for my son. I brought my selection - a baseball bat - to the cash register. "Cash or charge?" the clerk asked. "Cash," I snapped. Then apologizing for my rudeness, I explained, "I’ve spent the afternoon at the motor vehicle bureau." "Shall I gift-wrap the bat?" the clerk asked sweetly. "Or are you going back there?" submitted by Glenn Vaughan
We can do some crazy things when we• allow our anger to take hold of us.
Have you done things while you were• angry that you wish you could take back?
Anger can be one of the most• destructive things in our life.
When Jesus said, “But I tell you,” He was not doing away with the law or adding His own beliefs. Rather, He was giving us a fuller understanding of why God made the law in the first place.
For example, Moses said, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13); The Pharisees read this law and, not having literally murdered anyone, felt righteous. But Jesus knows what’s in their heart. They were so angry with Jesus that they would plot His death, though they would not do the dirty work themselves.
Anger is a dangerous emotion that always threatens to leap out of control, leading to violence, emotional hurt, increased mental stress, and spiritual damage.
I. Forgiveness and Reconciliation start in our heart.
The bible says, “As a person thinks in his/her heart so they become."
In verses 21-22 Jesus brings in a higher ethical law. The law of the heart comes from God.
Jesus is saying: “Be careful what you say it reveals the condition of your heart.” You may have never murdered anyone, but what about the motives of your heart. Jesus is saying, “What matters is not merely the letter of the law but the spirit.” The law says, “You shall not commit murder.” Jesus says, “If you are angry in your heart with a brother you are guilty under God’s law of murder. To hate, to feel bitter, to have this unpleasant, unkind feeling of resentment toward a person without a cause is murder.
To say, Raca which literally means “empty head” or you are a worthless person. You are good for nothing. God will not tolerate character assignation. Words can destroy a person’s reputation or shake somebody else’s confidence in the person by unjust criticism. We are to love the person and get angry against the sin.
We are called to be positive not negative toward other people. There are some people who have the view: “If you can’t say something bad about someone then keep quiet and just look mad.”
James 1:19-20 “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”
Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 19:11 “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.”
What is it that causes us to get angry? We feel that we have our rights and no one had better take away our rights. If someone gets in my space they’re in trouble. I have my rights.
One of the first ways to deal with anger is to surrender our rights to God. Let me tell you that this is hard.
I was talking with Keegan the other day on a memory verse he should memorize… Gal 2:20
There are several ways you can deal with anger. You can suppress it. Don’t admit that you are angry. Hide your anger. It is hard for some people to hid their anger when their face turns beat red. Suppressed anger is hazardous to your health. Suppressed anger is like an abscessed tooth. You can take painkiller but the pain just comes back.
You can spiritualize your anger and say you are only righteously indignant. My anger is spiritual and yours is not.
Or you can be proud of your anger. “This is the way God made me, and I can’t help it. If you push me too far I’ll explode.
Children learn early how to use anger to get their way. Imagine the parents of a two-year old deciding to go out together for dinner on a Saturday night as a way to have some time together. Everything is all set. The baby-sitter comes over and as the parents are getting ready to go out the door the two-year old runs at the baby sitter kicking and screaming. Then he turns to the mother and cries in his most convincing voice as he hugs her around the legs, crying, “Don’t leave me! Don’t leave me! I love you. Don’t leave me.”