Anger Management

2013-09-07 anger-management

Matthew 5 provides the first teachings of Christ recorded in the New Testament.  Prior to Christ’s ministry, Israel was subject to the Law of Moses.  At Matthew 5:21, Christ begins to establish a new law associated with the Kingdom of Heaven.  This new Kingdom Law is composed of Christ’s Commandments.

You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Matthew 5:21 & 22 NASB

Here we see an immediate contrast between the Law of Moses and Christ’s Commandments.  Under the Law of Moses, murder was punishable by the Courts of Israel.  Under Christ’s Commandments, the thought of anger towards another person is a punishable offense.  Channeling anger into verbally maligning another person can even result in eternal condemnation.

Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent. Matthew 5:23 to 26 NASB

Whenever we sin we need to set things straight with God first.  We confess our sins to God knowing He forgives us when we confess.  We also need to repent, turn away from the sin. 

Here repentance is setting things straight with others.   If we have argument with a fellow believer, we are to reconcile with them.  If we have argument with an unbeliever, we are commanded to quickly seek friendship.  More on how to do this is discussed in Matthew 5:38 to 48 (see Dealing with Evil).

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