Anger • Devotion 6

Are You Angry?
Kyle Wendel

Have you ever been angry with someone? I feel like I can say for us all, yes we have been angry with someone else many times. I can think of countless stories of where I have been angry with someone. Jesus takes a bold take on anger in Matthew 5:21-22, “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.”

First, Jesus refers to the Old Testament where it says do not murder. I think most of us have heard this before and I would feel like we all agree that murder is wrong. Jesus takes it a whole level deeper though. We see this throughout Scripture that God looks at the intentions of our hearts. We may not commit murder on the outside, but what about the inside? Where are our hearts at? Jesus is saying here that it is wrong to be angry with someone. Anger typically entails a desire to damage or destroy a person. We see this play out in personal ways and sometimes can even lead to murder. We also see how calling others fools, and meaning it, is closely related to anger. It can represent an attack on a person’s character or identity.

When we have anger stored up against someone, it destroys us and it destroys how we see that person. Instead, when we have a problem with someone we should go to them and try to hash it out. Anger only leads to bitterness. Bitterness also destroys. We cannot sit on our anger and let it fester inside of us.

Jesus died on the cross so that we can be set free from sin. Let us run to Him when we are tempted or caught in sin. We must give it all up to Him and attempt to live peaceably amongst all. We must live a life that is always looking back to the cross. Anger does not point to the cross but to ourselves. We are doomed if we look to ourselves only.

Do you struggle with anger? Who are you angry with? Is there someone specific that you need to go hash things out with? Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” How can the Fruit of the Spirit help us with our anger?

James 1:19 adds, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” It is not easy being slow to anger, let us have self-control in Christ.

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