The Dangers of Anger
Anger is a complicated word. It can range from emotion just stronger than frustration to full-out violent rage. Anger also has power. Unresolved, anger can destroy your health, your relationships, and possibly your freedom.
As Jesus was teaching followers on the mountain, He addressed just how serious anger is.
21. You have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shall not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment.
22. But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the Council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
In verse 21, Jesus is referencing back to the Law of Moses, and the commandment against murder. Murder is different than self-defense. Murder is the result of an intentional thought, or act. It may result from an impulse, a sudden thought to do harm immediately following some action against you by another person. It may result from a long thought out, or planned act of revenge.
Verse 22 makes anger as serious as murder. Jesus is telling those he is teaching that anger is the foundation of behaviors that can lead to violence. The choice of the word “Raca” is intended to drive home the seriousness of allowing anger to fester.
Jesus is teaching us unresolved anger has the potential to destroy our lives. It can lead to violent behavior that brings you in front of the Council (court system), or the judgment or hell fire (God’s court and judgment).
Modern medicine has shown that anger can negatively affect our heath. It can lead to heart disease, blood pressure problems, digestive issues, and more. Would harboring anger over a long period of time leading to fatal health issues be suicide? If our bodies are also temples of God, then can we also say anger that leads to the destruction of the temple?
Throughout His ministry, Jesus teaches that we are to give our concerns, troubles, worries, needs, and life challenges to God and let Him resolve them for us. Although He does not specifically say that in these two verses, the entire lecture on the mountain is a course on how to live.
When we find ourselves angry, reaching out to the Lord, and sharing our problem with Him will lead to resolution and peace if we listen to Him. We don’t need fancy words. Just talk to Him.
Don’t let anger fester within you.
*I am not an attorney. My definitions here are not intended to be seen as legal definitions.
Robin A Holstein is proprietor of Holstein House Bed and Breakfast, in Diamond, WV. She is a licensed minister, and life coach through Christian Leaders Alliance. She holds a BS in Business. Robin was awarded an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Universal Life Church. She is a contributing columnist on spirituality for Two Lane Renaissance. You may reach her at robin [at] robinholstein.com
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