Posts Tagged 'resentment'

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 the outward expression of an inward disposition.  All actions begin 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 we as believers must diligently guard our hearts; allowing the Lord to cleanse them; in so doing, we will also outwardly adhere to God’s commandments.

                John Wilkes booth is one of the most famous assassins in U.S. history.  On April 14th 1865, he crept up behind Abraham Lincoln, and shot him in the head (a wound that proved fatal.) Booth was a loyal southerner, angered over what he believed to be the evils of Northern aggression. He too was later killed. Abraham Lincoln’s death, although horrific, wasn’t the result of an assassin’s bullet; rather, 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.  [Additional illustration:  It’s 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 grows in to hatred, and hatred generates sin; therefore, the Lord teaches us that anger and murder are indistinguishable.  The seed that enters the ground and the fruit it produces are one in the same.  Search your heart; if you discover any anger, discard it; it serves only to separate you from your creator.  Allow the Lord to cleanse you of every lingering resentment and He’ll draw near to you; in turn, you’ll come to experience the peace and freedom of unconditional forgiveness.

                “Lord Heavenly Father we ask that You would let the truth of this scripture sink deep into our hearts and minds.  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.  We love You Lord, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!  

Unconditional Forgiveness


                “Take heed to yourselves.  If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.  And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him” (Luke 17: 3-4.)


                God’s forgiveness is not without stipulation.  Those who desire His mercy must be merciful; those who yearn for His forgiveness must not withhold forgiveness from others.  Hatred, anger, and resentment have no place in the heart of the believer; unresolved bitterness creates division between God and man.  Jesus said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Those who follow the Lord seek to imitate Him by defending the weak, feeding the hungry, and loving the unlovable; similarly, every disciple is obligated to forgive without restriction or exception (as God Himself forgives.)  There are no limits to God’s mercy, and those who forgive unconditionally can be used as instruments of limitless love.

                In 1956, five American missionaries flew in to the jungles of Ecuador to make contact with a hostile and war-like tribe of Indians known as the Waodani.  All five men were speared to death.  The families were devastated by the loss; in one day, many children were orphaned and many wives were widowed.  Did the families seek vengeance?  Did they cry out for justice?  No […] instead Elizabeth Elliot (who had lost a husband), and Rachael Saint (who had lost a brother), were obedient to God and forgave the tribesmen unconditionally.  Elizabeth and Rachael continued to evangelize the natives, and the Waodani people eventually invited them in to their community.  One by one, the members of the tribe began to commit their lives to Jesus Christ.  The men who had perpetrated the murders expressed great joy in knowing that they had been forgiven.  The women eventually formed lifelong friendships with the men who had killed their loved ones.  This unconditional forgiveness has given birth to the Waodani Church; a church that thrives to this day.  The members of the tribe have put down their spears and have begun to evangelize the other neighboring tribes (at great personal risk to themselves.)  This amazing work was made possible because two women were willing to forgive without restriction.

                Forgiving others is not a suggestion, a recommendation, or a request; it is a command; a command that heals both the forgiver and those who are forgiven.  Is there anyone you are angry with?  Has someone caused you great pain?  Then you must forgive them.  Search your heart and ask God to give you the courage, and the strength to let go of your resentments; to lay down your hostility; to do away with your bitterness; in turn, God will give you peace […] and your heart will be filled with joy as you walk in fellowship with your creator.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, search our hearts and reveal our resentments.  Give us the strength to forgive completely.  May we love as You have loved.  May we forgive as You forgive.  May we be kind to those who have harmed us; may we bestow compassion upon those who have mistreated us; and may we always be examples of Your awesome mercy and grace.  We love You Father, 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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