Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Loving People: Part 2

Commandment 6:  "You shall not murder"

Murder hurts people (well, that's obvious).  It doesn't just hurt the person murdered, though, but the family, the loved ones, all of those who have connections with the person murdered, and all of those who have connections with those who have connections with the person murdered.  Haven you ever have a good friend who had a tragedy in their life, and you didn’t know the person involved, but it still affected you deeply, because your friend was in grief?  Murder hurts a multitude of people.  To engage in such an action is to physically harm one, and emotionally damage many.
But Jesus took it farther in the Sermon on the Mount. Mt 5:21-22 - "You have heard that our ancestors were told, "You must not murder. If you commit murder you are subject to judgment."  But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment!"  

Jesus steps it up, and says, "Don’t even be angry with a person." Why? How is anger on the same level as murder?

As Yoda says, "Anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering."

God cares about what’s in your heart just as much as the things that you actually do.  Have you been angry in the past week?  Yeah, God cares about that.  The bad things that you do to others come from the bad things you think about others.
We are a people who like our anger.  We are a people who often hide our anger behind a mask (Fake smiles, passive aggressive behavior). We act like we are not angry, but that anger affects our relationships with other people. Jesus calls us beyond anger. 

Jesus calls us to forgive even our enemies.

Jesus calls us to love our enemies.

Jesus is so committed to bringing his people past the anger that destroys relationships that he says, "If you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God."

If there's a rift between you and another person, fix it.  Work it out.

Do not murder.

Do not even become angry.

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