Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Jesus and Civility

There has been a lot written recently about the need for civility. Much of the furor and hand wringing came about when a very sick young man shot and killed six people and severely wounded a politician.

When something happens to a politician the media and other politicians take up the cry to stop selling guns and stop politicians on the other side from talking. Such gnashing of teeth and wailing is short lived and done mostly for selling papers and getting a political advantage. In some ways, it leads to even more uncivil talk and even greater polarization in our nation.

But I am convinced that Jesus would be unhappy with the ways we talk about each other and the ways we make villains out of those we differ with. Jesus had a lot to say about such things and I think it is wiser than anything written by a modern therapist or politician.

Jesus described the problem better than anyone I have ever read. Why? because He differentiated different levels of anger, conflict and personal attacks. This is not something that I have seen anyone else do in the weeks since the shooting rampage.

Here is a great and very accurate teaching that is practical and helpful from Jesus.

Matthew 5:21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.

Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca, is answerable to the court.

And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Read and tell me why this is not the greatest teaching on relationships ever written.

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