Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.—Ephesians 4:31
Many of us would never murder a person, but we may wish someone were dead. Have you ever hated anyone? Let me rephrase the question: Have you ever driven on a freeway anywhere in Southern California?
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But 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 hell.” (Matthew 5:21–22).
We also read in 1 John 3:15, “Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.” The word used here for hate means “to habitually despise.” It is not just a transient emotion of the affections but a deep-rooted loathing.
We all lose our temper at times. I don’t think the Bible is saying that if you get angry and honk at someone, then you are a murderer. No, you are just a honker, and maybe you shouldn’t have lost your temper. The hatred the Bible is speaking of here is a deep-rooted loathing. It’s an attitude that says, “I hate your guts. When you walk into a room, I just seethe. I boil. I would like to see you destroyed. I sit around and think of ways that I could hurt you.”
Guess what? That is like murdering a person, and that is a sin before God.
So even if we have never committed the physical act of murder, the reality is that we still can be murderers in our hearts.
Radio Program: “The Prodigal Sons — II”
TV Program: “Stand Your Ground, Part 1”
Bible Reading: Hosea 10-12, Psalm 73, Hebrews 4
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Used by permission from Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, PO Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.