SOAP Devotional 2015-04-30
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
“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 NLT)
Jesus took the actual act of murder and gave the spiritual equals. Getting angry at someone or calling them an idiot or cursing them are the things that manifest in a spiritual sense as murder does in the physical. Some manuscripts add to the being angry with someone “without cause.”
Murder is the ultimate horrible action you can take toward someone. The root cause is often based on anger. Jesus tells us to stop it there because we are just as guilty when we get angry. First angry enough to get emotionally wound up, then it is enough to call them an idiot, then to curse them, at which time we are only a step away from murder, at least in our heart if not in the flesh. Jesus wants us to stop it at it’s initial state and not let it get worse and worse.
Lord, how many of us could say that we have never progressed at least a portion of the way through this process. I confess that I have let anger rise up to the point of calling someone an idiot just for almost running over me in traffic. Help me to overcome the root of anger that drives that response within me in the first place. There may have been a cause for concern, but let me exercise control based on what you have done in me.