You have heard that it was said… “Do not murder”… But I say… Anyone who says to his brother, “Raca,” is answerable to the Sanhedrin. – Matthew 5:22
We have all seen the time when we were in heated argument with another person and in the passion of the moment we attacked that persons character.
- In anger we used knowledge we had, or even stuff we made up, to insult them.
- When I have done that I was left feeling empty as my words had boomeranged and returned to hit me.
The word translated “raca” here literally means one who is empty, worthless and has no value.
- The Amplified Bible says it like this, “Whoever speaks contemptuously and insultingly to his brother shall be liable to and unable to escape the judgment imposed by the Sanhedrin.”
- Jesus is saying that disrespecting another person is like killing them.
I remember a time when I overheard a conversation the person I considered my best friend was having with another friend.
- He didn’t know I could hear him and he was talking about how he couldn’t stand me.
- It was many years ago, and I don’t remember the reasons he gave for not liking me, but I still feel the sting of those words.
- If my anger drives me to insulting you, then I am limiting the effect that I can have with you and the effect that you can have with me.
One of the great challenges in disagreements is to be able to separate the issue from the individual.
- I can passionately disagree with you without placing judgment on you and condemning you for your position on the issue.
- Once we go down the slippery slope of disrespecting others we are participating in the eventual death of respect for all others.
It requires effort, but it is much better to use words that bind friendships together than it is to use words that destroy relationships.
Message: It is not a sin to become angry or upset with someone, but it is a sin if we don’t deal with our anger in an appropriate manner. If my anger toward you drives me to insulting you, then I am limiting the effect that I can have with you and that you can have with me.
Prayer: Father, forgive me for ever disrespecting another person because of a disagreement and help me to use words of peace. In Jesus name, amen.
Affirmation: I have purposed to deal with anger in an appropriate manner in order that my life will have a positive effect on those around me.
Reflection: One of the great challenges in disagreements is to be able to separate the issue from the individual. I can passionately disagree with you without placing judgment on you and condemning you for your position on the issue. Practice thinking of ways to separate the issue from the individual.
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