Deadly Words — A LifeWords Devotion – Hope 103.2

Deadly Words — A LifeWords Devotion

We may not literally kill another person, but our words arising out of anger can inflict mortal wounds on them. Self-control does not mean we never express anger. It just means we choose to express it in a way that does no harm to us or others.

By David ReayWednesday 22 Jul 2020LifeWords DevotionalsDevotionsReading Time: 2 minutes

Matthew 5:21-22

“You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill. (The Message)

Jesus might offer many comforting words, but he is not afraid of offering disturbing words as well. He is getting behind the traditional commands to remind us that there is more to them than meets the eye.

We may not literally kill another person, but our words arising out of anger can inflict mortal wounds on them. Not only that, but our inner anger can sadly sometimes burst into the open in a literally murderous rage. So anger can be deadly in a verbal or literal way. Of course Jesus is not equating all anger with murder. He is simply saying that there is a link.

If we bury our anger it curdles inside us and causes all sorts of problems to our minds and bodies. And it can explode dangerously when finally released. Anger is a physical emotion and needs expression. But if we blow up and freely express our anger, the shrapnel of it does lots of damage. It is also unhelpful to “displace” our anger. I am upset at my boss at work so I take out my anger on my family when I get home.

Self-control does not mean we never express anger. It just means we choose to express it in a way that does no harm to us or others. We seek to understand its causes, share it with the God who does understand it, and find a way of safely releasing it. And so we heed the biblical command to be angry and yet not in a sinful way.

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Blessings

David