The Kingdom of Heaven: Thou Shalt Not Be Angry

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.

Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

Matthew 5:21-26, NKJV

It’s easy to point fingers at the “big sins.” Murderers, rapists, robbers, scandalous tax collectors – they’re all the bad guys who deserve God’s wrath.

But what’s this that Jesus is saying?

Yes, murder is bad. And whoever murders will face judgment.

But guess what? Being angry at someone for no reason is right up there with murder! Continue reading

Advertisements

Blessed Are the Peacemakers

peacemakers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

(Matthew 5:9, NKJV)

A few months back, I was on break at Chick-fil-A and having a bite to eat in the dining room, when I overheard a snippet of a conversation between two guests at the table next to me. My guess is that one of the men was a pastor, and I overheard him ask a question of the other man that made me pause and think.

The question that was asked was, “What is the difference between a peacekeeper and a peacemaker?”

I thought to myself, “What is the difference? A peacekeeper would keep the peace, while a peacemaker would make peace. But what’s the difference on a practical level? How does keeping peace look different from making peace?” Continue reading