“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell” (Matthew 5:21-22, NIV).
In the Gospels, Jesus tells us to be careful how we talk about others. In fact in Matthew, he links anger and name calling to murder.
When we talk negatively about someone, we damage their reputation in the eyes of other people. We weaken their friendships with those who hear what we say. We make it harder for them to function socially.
If you are angry with someone, even if you have a valid reason, be very careful. Search your heart, try to forgive them and get over it.
Don’t let your anger hurt your relationship with your loving Heavenly Father. No dispute is worth it. Why damage your relationship with God, to have the brief satisfaction that comes with talking about the weaknesses of others?
If you need counseling, find a trustworthy person in whom to confide. Remember, “a good name is more desirable than riches.” No matter how mad you are, guard the name of your enemy. If you do that, you are guarding your own relationship with God.
Kimberly Snider works at Asia Pacific Media Ministries where she coordinates publications and advertising as well as produces many of the instructional materials that accompany video teaching series. Kimberly ministers at women’s retreats and media training workshops. Kim is a former schoolteacher. She has a BA from the University of Illinois and a MA from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
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