Do Not Harbor Anger

Do Not Harbor Anger

Author: Katherine Pittman
Feb 14, 2024 | Matthew 5:21-26

Head: Know God's Word | Heart: Love God | Hands: Follow God's Way  

Read Matthew 5:21-26.


Today’s passage is part of Jesus’ teaching in what we call the “Sermon on the Mount”. In this section, He focuses on a well-known command from the Old Testament law, the sixth Commandment from the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20: “Do not murder.” Isn’t that one of those commandments that we easily skip over? Apparently, the Pharisees did too, and were prideful in inhow they thought they were keeping the Law. Jesus is leading His listeners beyond the surface level with this commandment. He’s pointing to the heart, saying if you are holding on to anger toward or insulting others, you aren’t keeping this commandment. Anger, insults, and murder all begin deep in a heart that does not love his or her neighbor at this simple level.


Jesus tells His audience to go to those who they have wronged and make it right before they bring a sacrifice to the altar. His words still apply to us today. Before we attempt to give an offering to the Lord, whether it be by giving time, talents, or treasures, we have to make sure our heart toward others is in a good place and we aren’t responsible for broken relationships by refusing to forgive or ask for forgiveness. This requires humility, taking yourself out of first place, stepping back, and evaluating the heart behind your actions (just like we talked about yesterday), and then finding the one you’ve wronged to ask forgiveness and make the relationship right. This is what it means to have a heart of love toward others.


As you go about your day, things are bound to happen that make you frustrated or even angry. Unfortunately, that’s part of life in this broken world. When you find yourself feeling this way, identify that frustration or anger before it overtakes you and leads to actions you’re probably going to regret. Pray, communicating with the Lord about what has taken place, and ask for wisdom. Think about how you can show a heart of love within the situation. Take comfort in knowing that this is not a one-time fix, but something the Holy Spirit can grow in us over time as we walk with the Lord and see more evidence of His fruit.

Prayer: Lord, You created us with a wide range of feelings and emotions. There are times when our feelings can make it easy for us to sin against another person created in Your image and ultimately, against You. Please graciously reveal these times to us. Help us recognize when we are acting on sin in our hearts and provide us a way out of temptation so that we can repent and be reconciled to you and fellow believers. Help us to walk in Your truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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