What grudge are you holding onto right now? You angry with someone? A family member, co-worker, friend, or a neighbor? Who is it? What did he or she do?
Oh never mind, it doesnâ€™t matter. What? No, itâ€™s not that I donâ€™t care; it doesnâ€™t matter what that person did to you. You have no right to be mad at him or her. Hey I know thatâ€™s tough; youâ€™re talking to the person who can get angry at the drop of a hat, used to fight because of a wrong glance, and stayed angry at my father for over 20 years.
The rest of Matthew 5 is Jesus upping the ante on the Ten Commandments. As a matter fact the Sermon of the Mount is actually harder to live by than the Ten Commandments. Weâ€™re going to look at some of the amplification of the Law that Jesus commands of us. You see, for Christ it is not enough to be good on the outside; we must be holy on the inside. The first thing Jesus says is we cannot murder with our anger.
â€œYou have heard that it was said to those of old, â€˜You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.â€™ 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, â€˜Raca!â€™ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, â€˜You fool!â€™ 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.â€ (Matthew 5:21-26)
Ah ha Bro Dave! There it is in Jesusâ€™ own words! He says I can be angry with cause. Yes, I know but youâ€™re probably confused as I once was. To be angry with cause means holy anger against sin. The Apostle Paul teaches:
â€œâ€˜Be angry, and do not sinâ€™: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.â€ (Ephesians 4:26-27)
You see beloved when you hold a grudge, when you go to bed angry, you grieve the Holy Spirit, not to mention you ruin your sleep. Dear Christian, Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ve heard every kind of sermon there is on this passage so Iâ€™m not going to retrace already covered ground. Jesus has made it clear what we are to do when it comes to reconciling with your brother or sister. Oswald Chambers explains it this way:
“First be reconciled to your brother . . .” Our Lord’s direction is simple, “first be reconciled.” Go back the way you came, go the way indicated to you by the conviction given at the altar; have an attitude of mind and a temper of soul to the one who has something against you that makes reconciliation as natural as breathing. Jesus does not mention the other person, He says – you go. There is no question of your rights. The stamp of the saint is that he can waive his own rights and obey the Lord Jesus.
Do you have that stamp? Can you waive your own rights and obey the Lord Jesus? If not, there is nothing but heartache in your future.
Some people say that time heals all wounds. No it doesnâ€™t. It only heals dressed wounds. Unattended wounds fester and get infected and eventually gangrene sets in and rots you from within.
Picture that person right now. You see him or her in your mindâ€™s eye? Whatâ€™s the first thing you feel?
Itâ€™s ugly isnâ€™t it.
Go make it right; do it today.
Tomorrow we deal with lust.
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Copyright Â© 2011 David Jeffers