Devotional – Mt 5:21-22

In continuing with this devotional challenge I feel like I hit a wall. Not in the sense that the passage slapped me across the face and brought me to my senses, but in the sense that I ran into a dead end. I don’t feel like I have gotten what I should. I have spent 3 days reading, reflecting, and praying on Jesus’ teaching about anger, and haven’t written a thing in this journal. I have heard that the best way to overcome writers block is to just write.

Matthew 5:21-22

  • “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

There was a dark time in my life, which I have vaguely touched in this blog, where I was holding onto a rather large grudge against someone. Two people come to mind actually, one was a high school bully, the other was someone who was a closer acquaintance. I hated these people so much that I would visualize them getting injured or dying in horrible ways. A Buddhist book on anger didn’t help me, primarily because I was so mad I never read more than the first few pages. I wasn’t addressing the source of my anger, and I wasn’t ready to. Through Christ I finally came to let go of that anger and to forgive. I treated the source of my grudge, which was my sinful nature.

I still deal with anger. It’s not the deep festering kind of anger, it is the anger that springs out of nowhere, like when I get cut off while driving or some sudden similar situation. Before Christ I remember following someone for miles seething with anger. That doesn’t happen anymore, thank God! But it still comes, and it comes on quick. Sometimes I call the person a name similar to ‘Raca’. Sometimes I clench my teeth and strangle my steering wheel. It is only because I believe that the other person is an image bearer of God that I can stop. I can forgive them on the grounds that we all make mistakes, and pray for their safety. Still though, that anger surfaces. It is there inside me, hiding and waiting to strike out. Putting it in a cage doesn’t help. The only thing that is going to change it is the Holy Spirit.
Father, thank you for addressing my anger and for showing me what love and forgiveness are. I pray that you transform me into the person you created me to be, I pray that I can open up and not resist the inner work of the Holy Spirit.  Thank you Lord!

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