21“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’22But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of ahell.
23“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you,24leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.
25“When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison.26And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.
We all want to look at our sins in degrees, or at least I do. But here Jesus puts getting angry on par with murder! It makes me shudder to think of all the corpses I’ve created by being angry! Thank God, literally, that all the people I have raged at aren’t actually dead. Anger is a terrible thing.
And how are we to handle the situation that make us angry? Don’t bother with a sacrifice – leave it at the altar and forget it. In other words, don’t offer prayers without doing something to correct the situation. Settle our differences, live in peace, make amends. We have to at least try. Living in our anger and discord puts us in prison, our souls are trapped and separated from God.
Lord, open my eyes to the harm my anger has caused. Help me to see what I can do to make amends, and to do it. And change me, so I no longer explode like a volcano but instead react with the gifts of Your Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Beginner’s Online Bible Study *obbs*