Thursday, March 10, 2011
It's All About Good Relationships
If you are looking carefully at our work you know that we have been called to "Build a lifetime of great relationships with God, self and others." That means that this blog will almost always focus on things that disturb our relationships or build them.
For the past few posts I have been looking at the teaching Jesus gave in Matthew 5 about murder. He first reminded the listeners of something they already knew quite well but Jesus thought they needed a reminder. "You have heard it said in the Old Testament that "You shall not murder"...They He gives us a brilliant exposition of what leads to hot blooded killings-ANGER.
Anger feelings are normal, daily experiences for many of us. When I was young they were welcomed because I liked being mad so I could verbally or silently tear someone apart. I always felt justified by using my anger as a guided missile against some enemy. Jesus knows humanity well and uses that insight to teach to the heart as well as to the head.
The Jews of Jesus' day were known to be hot blooded. They were prone to throw dirt into the air and rip their clothes as they screamed and hurled epithets at an enemy. That is anger on steroids! It is dangerous but it arises almost anytime we interact with a person with whom we disagree strongly.
This is what Jesus was thinking when He said, "You are not only in danger of being judged by yourself or friends but also the court system. Why? Because we call people bad names. Jesus specifically mentions calling someone raca or stupid, senseless, worthless because that is an assault on their character.
Name calling is dangerous and harmful. Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death or life are in the power of the tongue". Words can go deep into one's soul and lie there like a poison, burrowing into the souls with devastating results.
Step I. Anger-Judged by self and friends
Step II. Attack others with raca-Judged by the Council
TV is so full of angry attacks against others that we can easily think they are OK for us. Then we fall into attacking as a first line of defense. This is a very slippery slope down which one can glide right into hell fire!
See my web Sweeten Life Systems for free downloads on improving your relationships. Get my book, Hope and Change for Humpty Dumpty. It can change your life for the better.