Anger is murder


                “You have heard it said long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  But I tell you anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.  Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin.  But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell” (Mathew 5: 21-22.)


                Few evil offenses can rival the act of murder; and murder, like so many sins, is merely the outward expression of an inward disposition.  All actions have their beginnings deep within the spirit.  First century Judaism stressed external adherence to the laws of God.  Jesus however, emphasized internal obedience; he focused on the heart; and rightly so; for murder is hatred which has grown to full maturity; laziness gives birth to poverty; and adultery is the offspring of lust.  Unless the heart is continually cleansed, evil will take root and produce a plethora of unholy actions.  God judges the inner man; therefore the believer must be diligent to maintain a clean heart; in so doing, they will also outwardly adhere to God’s commandments (In regard to inward purity, Jesus said, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.  Blind Pharisee!  First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”)

                John Wilkes booth is one of the most famous assassins in U.S. history.  On April 14th 1865, as the U.S. civil war drew to a close, President Abraham Lincoln was watching a play at Ford’s theatre in Washington D.C.  Mr. Booth, a famous stage actor, crept up behind the president with a pistol and shot him in the back of the head (a wound which proved to be fatal.)  Although Booth escaped, he was later caught and killed (Booth had been a loyal southerner, disillusioned and angered over Northern aggression.)   Abraham Lincoln’s death, although shocking and horrific, was not the result of an assassin’s bullet; instead it was the offspring of fully matured anger; hatred led to the deaths of both John Wilkes Booth and the 16th president of the United States of America.  [Another illustration:  It is interesting to note that unchecked anger can not only lead to spiritual death, but it can also lead to physical death.  A recent study conducted by John Hopkins university tracked 1,337 male medical students for 36 years following medical school; the study found that those who were quick to anger when undergoing stress, were three times more likely to “develop premature heart disease, and five times more likely to have an early heart attack.  Angry young men, it appears, turn in to angry old men with heart problems” (Cleveland Clinic, Anger and Heart Attack.)]

                Anger cannot be contained; it is a seed that grows in to hatred, and hatred generates sin; therefore, the Lord teaches that anger and murder are indistinguishable.  God makes no distinction between the seed that enters the ground and the fruit it eventually produces.  Search your heart; if you discover any anger or resentment, discard it; it only serves to separate you from your creator.  Allow God to cleanse you of all unrighteousness; let Him purify you, and fill you with His Holy Spirit.  Let go of your hostility, and you will experience the freedom of absolute forgiveness.

                “Lord Father we come before You and we ask and pray that You would let the truth of this scripture sink deep down into our hearts.  May our souls be pure and free from evil thoughts and desires.  Take away our anger and resentment; may we not judge others, but may we love them; knowing that you are the only righteous judge.  Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and transform us from the inside out.  Lord, we love You, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!  

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