God’s View on Anger

Jesus taught on unrighteous anger in his famous Sermon on the Mount.

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Matthew 5:21(NIV)

Jesus equates anger to murder- both being held liable to judgment.   Unrighteous anger, which is what we deal with most of the time, hurts and wounds others.  It damages and destroys both the angry person and the one(s) to whom the anger is directed.   God’s Sixth Commandment which says, “Thou Shall not murder,” extends beyond the physical act of murder to the intents and attitudes of the heart.

The religious leaders believed and taught that if one didn’t actually commit the literal act of murder that person could be content in knowing that he had fulfilled the requirement of the law.  Jesus clarifies that the matter at hand is more a matter of the heart.  If you are angry enough to murder someone- you’ve broken the Command in your heart.  The Pharisees and teachers of the law may not have physically murdered anyone, but in their anger, deep down,  they wanted Jesus dead.  That’s the kind of anger Jesus is talking about- it is the type of anger that may not murder the body but it definitely goes after a person’s soul.

Isn’t it true that we have all been hurt by anger and/or have hurt others by our anger?  Jesus makes it clear that we are to value life, to love and honor one another and that our anger, while at times justifiable, leads only to destroy and tear down.  Jesus says that our anger is, like murder, subject to judgment.

If you struggle with anger I want to encourage you to reach out for help.  In my experience, those who are hurt most by our anger are those closest to us- the ones we love the most.  Be strong and courageous and cry out to God for victory over anger in your life.  A wise person recognizes a problem and works toward a solution- it’s foolish to deny anger and pretend like it’s no big deal.  It’s a real big deal to God- He equates it to murder!

God Bless, Pastor Jim