Matthew 5:21-22 — “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment” (NIV).
I believe it’s very important to point out how Jesus compares murder and anger in the above verses. We can get angry and not sin (Psalm 4:4), but the anger Jesus speaks of in Matthew 5 refers to a person who harbors malice. Murder and anger have very different earthly consequences, but Jesus taught that both the murderer and the one who remains angry with someone will face the same judgment.
The eternal severity of these two sins is the same. They will both separate us from God forever. It is for this reason I want to teach on anger. Killing someone is obviously wrong, but many people give their anger problem a free pass. They will say, “Rage runs in my family,” or, “It’s my personality.”
Anger may not always be sinful, but unresolved anger always is. My goal over the next few days is for you to better understand anger and how it impacts your life. I want to introduce to you a story in Numbers 20:1-12. From this passage I’m going to point out seven truths about anger that will help you deal with it before and after it becomes sinful.
Moses had been entrusted by God to lead Israel into the Promised Land. The mass exodus featured millions of people and their egos. This made the trip less than desirable on numerous occasions, especially for Moses. In this particular instance, Israel complained to Moses about a water shortage. Moses finally had enough. His frustration boiled over into anger; his anger eventually became sin, and his sin wound up costing him something very precious.
Be honest with yourself today as we begin this study. Does anger have a hold on you?
Ephesians 4:26 — “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry (NIV).
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