March 24, 2014 by Chris French
Anger has been a part of my story for as long as I can remember. When I was little I couldn’t put my finger on it. I thought everyone felt like I did. I thought I was normal. As I grew up I started noticing how my friends reacted to my angry outbursts. They were surprised, sometimes scared, so I started thinking maybe this isn’t normal. Maybe everyone isn’t on the verge of screaming or punching a wall. Things really started changing for me when I started dating my wife. Everything was going great in our relationship, but it wasn’t long before she saw my rage. I realized pretty quickly that not only was my anger not normal, but if I didn’t find a way to release it my anger was going to lose me an amazing woman. It wasn’t long after this realization that I understood the full toll my anger could have. It had the power to take everything and everyone I loved away from me.
When you come to Matthew 5.21-26 and listen to Jesus talk about anger He says something about anger that rings very true for me. As he talks to good Jewish men and women He quotes from the 10 Commandments by saying, “You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.” These guys, much like myself, didn’t have a problem not killing people. They could walk away. They could count to 10. They could do breathing exercises. They could punch something other than the person who made them mad. Their problem, much like ours, isn’t murder, but the thing that lies at the heart of murder: anger. Jesus’ next words probably felt like a slap. “Everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment…”
They didn’t have a murder problem. They had an anger problem and Jesus said it had the capability of taking everything from them. They thought they were spiritually safe since they hadn’t killed anyone, but Jesus says their anger has put them outside of God’s camp. Don’t look for a way to curtail your angry actions. Find a way to release the anger in your heart. That way is forgiveness. Nothing else can do it.
Notice the consequences Jesus enumerates for those who hold onto their anger. Notice the level of importance he puts on helping someone else release their anger toward you. It should take precedence over worship! Anger can get inside of you and rule your life. If you allow it anger will steal everything from you. Don’t set up residence in the prison your anger has made for you. If you’d like information on forgiveness I’ve written several articles that may be helpful. Just type “forgive” in the search bar and read away, but I wanted to provide you with at least one link that will walk you thru the forgiveness process and tell you a little more about anger so here it is.