by Pastor Greg Laurie
The Problem with Anger
"Do not murder." (Exodus 20:13)
The sixth commandment obviously forbids the taking of another human life for no justifiable reason. We might say, "Well, I've never murdered anyone. At least I can say I haven't broken this commandment." But in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declared,
You have heard that the law of Moses says, "Do not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment." But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the high council. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. (Matthew 5:21-22)
So, anger in our hearts can be like murdering someone. According to 1 John 3:15, "Anyone who hates another Christian is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don't have eternal life within them." The word, "hate," used here means "to habitually despise." It is not speaking of only a passing emotion of the affections, but a deep-rooted loathing. Now we all lose our tempers here and there. But this is speaking of hating, loathing, or despising someone. It is allowing bitterness toward someone to develop over a period of time - to the point that you are seething with anger every time you see that person or hear his or her name.
Spreading lies about someone, gossiping about them, or assassinating their character can be like murder. If you love God, then you will love your neighbor. And if you love your neighbor, you won't do these things to them.
Copyright (c) 2004 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.