This is a companion piece to our look at Jesus’ teaching on anger @ theHeartSeekerBlog.wordpress.com…
“Everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.” (Jesus)
As I survey our current cultural climate, two interconnected things just jump out:
1) Never have we been more focused on not offending people; and
2) Never have we seen more people being offended.
It’s like the more we draw attention to an issue, the more we see ten others surface and clamor for equal attention – with equal zeal and determination.
You can’t go through a day without hearing about someone somewhere getting all bent out of shape about something (and quite often, that something seems rather trivial).
Everywhere we turn, we see angry people.
On the news. In the papers. In magazines. Online. On the job. In the car next to us.
It’s like angry is the new normal. And that is a terrifying proposition.
It’s interesting what Jesus had to say about anger – and it’s (often) unrecognized effects on us. He told us that murder is wrong. Everybody knows that…
Judgment of what??
In context: murder.
What Jesus is telling us is that unresolved anger is the fertile soil where murder resides and grows and seeks to give bloom in our lives. Unresolved anger is the poison plant. Murder is just the fruit that uncontrolled anger produces.
Jesus tells us the real heart of the matter – and it is a matter of the heart.
Unresolved anger leads the sane into insanity. The just into justified injustice. And sickens the collective heart of every culture who drinks in it’s deadly poison.
Until we honestly deal with the issue of anger in men’s (and women’s) hearts we will always have murderous intent coursing among (and within) us.
So when we see horrible things like school shootings or mass murders or serial crimes or genocide or any of a number of abusive behaviors, we need to realize what is really at the heart of the issue.
The answer is not (and it never has been) gun control or better education or more laws or even greater sensitivity to people’s sensitive issues.
The answer ALWAYS comes back to treating people like you would want to be treated – and a large part of that “treatment” is to refuse to be angry at the minor offenses that can, so often, plague our day.
Sure. There is a time to BE angry. Jesus got angry. But (if you’ll notice) it was never about how HE was treated. Jesus’ anger was always directed at when God’s ways, God’s standards, and God’s Heart were ignored, misrepresented, or distorted in people’s efforts to find a “better” more self-centric (i.e. humanistic) way of doing things.
And one more thing… the real solution to anger in our lives is never revenge, or outrage, it is to willingly/willfully “forgive those who trespass against us.”
This, from the Author of forgiveness to all of us who had most certainly (and willfully) offended Him.