Teenside Daily Devotional

4/7/20
Read Matthew 5:21-26.

My first thought after reading this is “Did Jesus just equate anger at someone with murdering them?” And the answer to this question is yes, he did. Not just anger but insulting someone or calling them a fool as well! Even if you don’t consider yourself someone who does all three of these things constantly, I’m sure that one of them stands out. I will say that it’s a lot easier to say that you won’t commit these acts anymore than it is to actually stop. Should we though? Absolutely! Again, he connects them with MURDER. Aside from that, tension in a relationship can become a huge distraction, even one that can begin to affect your relationship with God or other people.

However, Jesus doesn’t stop there. He goes as far as to say that if someone is angry with YOU, it is YOUR responsibility to go to them and seek reconciliation. If you were planning on giving God the gift of your time or your worship (this does not include confession, He still wants you to talk to Him), He doesn’t even want it until the situation has been resolved. God created us for relationships with each other, and He doesn’t want us to ignore when one of them has been wounded. Notice that Jesus doesn’t specify whether or not that other person is being fair or is even just in their accusations. He just expects you to attempt repairing the relationship if possible. This is not to say that it is always possible. Sometimes the other person isn’t willing. Do not put immense pressure on yourself to change someone else’s mind. He does, however, follow this up with the last verse. If they are just in their accusation, it probably wouldn’t hurt to apologize because they might hand you over to someone with the authority to judge you.
An important thing to realize is that he applies all of this to a “brother”. Is this your literal sibling? No. Is it just anyone and everyone? Also, no. Traditionally, “neighbor” would refer to anyone you encounter while “brother” would refer to someone of the same faith. In this instance, Jesus is more than likely telling them they have an obligation to reconcile with fellow Jews. For us, this is other Christians. However, I believe that if you do have the opportunity to reconcile a relationship with someone outside of the Church, it would show them who God is in a tremendous way.

All of this flows from the simple principle of loving others. If you seek to love everyone that you encounter, regardless of their attitude or actions toward you, then this won’t become a problem. And, as Jesus says, if something does happen, intentionally or not, don’t leave it for too long. It will get worse. Cherish the relationships you have, and don’t take them for granted!

Questions:

*Take a moment to journal these questions. Write down your thoughts, questions, and concerns. Then date your entry. One of the coolest things is being able to look back and see how God came through for you.*

  1. From these verses, how does God feel about anger?

  1. Is there any anger/resentment that you have been holding against someone? If so, what steps do you need to take to forgive and seek reconciliation with that person?

  1. We live in very passive-aggressive culture. People hate the thought of confrontation but then stay angry because nothing gets resolved. How can you choose to be proactive in your relationships so that anger does not build-up? 


Prayer: Spend some time praying about the things you journaled. Repent for the places that you have held anger in your heart against someone. Ask that God would soften your heart and give you the ability to forgive, even when it is hard. Pray that God would show you how to reconcile relationships that have suffered because of anger. Ask Him to help you seek to be proactive in all of your relationships– resolving problems as soon as they arise.

Reminder: Pray for your challenge person!

Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/169Fs68hROYRdS362T8D9w

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