Anger • Devotion 1

Yeast
Gary Wright

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 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. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 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. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.” Matthew 5:21-26

Every year for Thanksgiving, my wife Kim makes dinner rolls. They are delicious! The rolls start as a little blob of dough on Kim’s baking sheet, but the warm room temperature air activates the yeast in the dough and the yeast causes the dough to grow into some amazing-looking dinner rolls ready for the oven.

We all become angry from time to time, but if we hold on to that anger and allow it to settle in, it will become like the yeast in my wife’s dinner rolls. It will continue to grow until it dominates our life.

A great example of this type of anger is a man named Haman from the Book of Esther. Haman was angry that a Jew named Mordecai would not bow and pay respect to him (Haman was prime minister of Persia). Haman’s anger grew so much that it poisoned his life. Haman was rich and had a wife and children. He had been promoted by the king to second in charge in the Persian empire, yet notice Haman’s own words, “Yet all this is worth nothing to me, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate” (Esther 5:13). Haman held on to his anger, let it settle in, and it consumed his life.

If we hold on to our anger it will begin to grow until it affects every part of our life. Anger needs to be dealt with honestly and confessed to God as sin. Then we must go and settle the matter with whomever we have the problem.

Jesus says in our text to “Come to terms quickly with your accuser,” even before you come and worship. He says, “Leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” Ephesians 4:26-27

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