What Part of Thou Shalt Not Dont You Understand?
Back in the days of the old law of Moses, God gave him a set of 10 Commandments all of which began with "Thou Shalt Not"...We today, read these and take them at face value without really considering what all is involved in them.
Jesus however, came along in His Discourse on the Hill, better known as the Sermon on the Mount, (Matt. 5,6,7) to go further into one of the Commandments of "Thou Shalt Not Kill". Jesus wasn't teaching us how to simply be good, or just to talk the talk, but to walk the walk. He knew that the laying down of harden "laws" would not be possible for everyone to keep them, so that is why He was showing us how to change our hearts and give us hopeful and realistic terms in which to live.
The Old Testament Laws of God seemed rigid and hard to keep, and that is why Jesus walked among the people and gave them an understanding into the virtues of God Himself. It was the person of Jesus and His death, that makes it very clear today just what the virtues of God really are. He is a loving God who is far more patient with us that we seem to admit.
Virtue was the key word in describing Jesus Christ as a man and His teachings. He wanted us to know the difference between the Old Law and living in the kingdom of today. The apostle Paul explains this in Phil 4:8, 2 Pt. 1:3-5. We are told to think on higher things, not to be in the word structure, because we are now joint heirs with Christ.
As an example, Christ went on to explain the dangers of being irritated with others. This emotion can lead to anger and contempt. Here He shows the first steps into the righteousness of the kingdom heart. It is the elimination of anger and contempt. These emotions can be very dangerous. Christ takes us another step further into this commandment of not killing.
First of all, anger is a feeling that can paralyz someone, and seize up within them which in turn can cause us to inflict harm and interference to others. This can have some serious consequences. Anger is very damaging, it can wound someone mentally and physically as well. It also raises the stress level and evokes anger in return. This is why Christ says to "turn the other cheek". It isn't retaliating in more anger. Anger is a feeling that can quickly turn into something more harmful.
When someone is angry with us, it hurts. We feel rejection. We know their anger is meant to hurt us. Sometimes all it takes is a look of rejection or maybe an avoidance of looking at us that hurts. Sometimes it could be a raised voice or perhaps they ignore us and don't speak to us at all that causes us harm. Whatever the case may be, it makes a painful impression.
Jesus teaches us that we have the choice of either letting this anger take control of us, or we can control it. People who are not walking a Christian walk, will choose to let the anger take over because it gives them a sense of control over someone else. Thinking of someone else's feelings is the farthest thing from their minds. Anger can elevate and become a vicious cycle if not handled correctly. It can lead to death and even murder. When allowed to cultivate, it has an element of self righteousness and vanity. It just perpetuates into problems both for ourselves and others. Jesus was quoted as saying, "to cut off the root of anger is to wither the tree of human evil." The apostle Paul simply puts it as, "Lay aside all anger." Read (Col. 3:8; Eph.4:31) He says that no good can come from this emotion.
"A man's anger does not promote the righeousness of God (wishes and requires)" James 1:20 (Amplified)
God is not about anger that retaliates, He tells us to be angry and sin not. Do not let this emotion get the better of you.
How do we handle it then? We can't handle anything on our own. But God can if we simply do these three things: 1. Admit the anger and ask to be forgiven. 2. Think it through 3. Ask God for His counsel through His Word.
Contempt is an even more dangerous emotion when allowed to build. This feeling is never justified for any reason. In order to live in the kingdom life here and now we must without a shadow of a doubt, be deeply rooted and grounded in love, love for God and love for our fellow man. We must have a heart after God's. This would not be possible if we held in feelings of anger and contempt.
But thank God, He sent Jesus to give us a new and fresh way of living, a promise of an everlasting life. It's no secret that Christ came to pay a debt He didn't owe, and we owe a debt we could never pay. But God loves us that much that He gave His only begotten Son on our behalf. Wow!!!!
"Fear not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee and with the right hand of My righteousness." Isaiah 41:10 (KJV)
God does warn us of the dangers of anger when He said in Proverbs 15:1, "I wrath, but grievous words stir up anger." Proverbs 29:22, "A man giveth to anger commits and causes MUCH transgression."
Why are we so quick to anger and God tells us in Joel 2:13 and Nah.1:3 that He Himself is slow to anger? Should we not then be the same?
Ask God today to show you the root of your anger and then admit that you have sinned and want Him to forgive you. When you accept His Son Jesus as your Savior to rule over your life, you will then begin to feel a great weight lifted from inside your heart. Learn how anger can torment you and keep you in bondage unless you give it to Jesus, the One Who Died so you could live.
There are many ways to hell, but only way to heaven.
Vivian Gordon inspired writer of God's Word. It is her calling to teach the Good News and help others see the light of God to free them.
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