Anger and Hurt

What are the consequences of anger and hurt to ourselves? To others? Why is anger compared with murder? How can we avoid these feelings and overcome them? How do we replacing anger and hurt with love and compassion like Christ did?

Overview

Matt 5:21-26, Matt 18:15-17, Luke 12:57-59, John 17:20-23

  • Traditional perspective
  • Christ’s perspective
  • Reconciling perspectives
  • Implications today

Objectives

To understand the true meaning of the fifth commandment “Thou shalt not kill”.

To apply it to our marred perspectives in today’s context

Key Verses

Matt 5:21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.  

Key Verses (Cont'd)

Matt 5:23“So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

What is the difference between OT and NT law?

Straight off the back of the announcement of “fulfilling the law”, Christ’s first example is anger vs. murder (the fifth commandment). He then goes on to explain the true meaning of the fifth commandment, which had been seriously misinterpreted till His time.

Anger and Hurt

“Anger is a natural passion; there are cases in which it is lawful and laudable; but it is then sinful, when we are angry without cause. The word is eike, which signifies, sine causâ, sine effectu, et sine modo—without cause, without any good effect, without moderation; so that the anger is then sinful” [1]

Traditional Perspective

The act (murder, adultery, etc) is the sin, not the thought, feeling or words.

The act is to be condemned and liable to capital punishment (exodus 20:13)

People who perform the act eg. murder are socially blacklisted and spiritually marred.

Traditional Punishments

The Jews had three capital punishments, each worse than the other:

  • beheading, which was inflicted by the judgment
  • stoning, by the council or chief Sanhedrim
  • burning in the valley of the son of Hinnom, which was used only in extraordinary cases [1]

Christ’s Perspective

  • The thought, feeling or words (eg. anger) is as sinful as the act eg. murder
  • The thought is to be condemned and liable to capital punishment to various degrees.
  • People who perform the thought are equally guilty as those performing the act.
  • Spiritually, those who feel angry, therefore, are not spiritually higher than those who murder and cannot judge them. (Matt 7:1)

Understanding Context-Pride and Hatred

Anger, pride, hatred – all deserving capital punishment are placed at three separate levels corresponding to the Jewish levels.

Pride: Raca is a scornful word, and comes from pride, “You empty fellow;”

Hatred: You fool, is a spiteful word, and comes from hatred;  [1]

Reconciling Perspectives

  • If you are the hurt party:

    • Do not wait another minute
    • Forgive

    If you have caused hurt:

    • Do not wait another day
    • Seek forgiveness from God
    • And the people you hurt

    Don’t wait for anger or bitterness to set in.

Ministry of Reconciliation

We are all guilty. Only Christ can absolve our punishment.

Without reconciling with others, we cannot reconcile tDiscussion texto God.

2 Cor 5

18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;

Implications Today

Though anger and murder are spiritually equivalent, socially and legally, murder has greater consequences

Before feeling self righteous and mentally condemning others, introspect and realize our own unworthiness

Empathize with the murderers, adulterers, etc. realizing we are in the same league spiritually and help them return to Christ in the same way we are doing.

Discussion

1.In what ways do we risk being like Pharisees?

2.How does this enable us to minister better to murderers and sexual offenders, etc.?

3.How can we lead by example to repent, return and meet Christ’s high standards?

References

  1. Matthew Henry’s Commentary

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