Clergy View: Help! I’m angry
I’m angry and I can’t help it! If that is you, I have great news for you; there is grace for you in the Gospel of Christ.
You idiot! What a bad take. You need to "touch grass" and ground yourself. You’re woke, you’re sus, you’re salty, you’re ignorant, you are a wicked pagan.
You or those around you have expressed anger, bitterness and frustration with others in your thoughts. That anger may even spill over as you throw shade and express these things in your words or actions toward someone else. We live in an angry world. We live in a world that is always pointing the finger at someone else. What we come to find out in the sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 5:21-26, is that Jesus had a lot to say about this broken, sinful and angry world.
This law, given through Moses, and respoken and reestablished here by Jesus is one often used in our culture as a measure of contrast. “OK, OK, I’d admit it, I blew up in rage at my kids... but it’s not like I murdered someone.” Murder has been, and continues to be in our culture, understood as the terrible, dark, and evil taking of a life, a life that we understand biblically was made in the image of God.
The Scribes and Pharisees would have said it was bad as well. They, like us, would look at this command to not murder, and we would say, I’m innocent, I haven’t murdered anyone, I have upheld this law.
However, what we are starting to see with Jesus’ teaching is that He is redefining what religious people thought was righteousness. With kingly authority, Jesus says, you have heard it said don’t murder, but I’m going to point you to the heart condition behind it. God’s Law is not merely some mechanical thing you affirm externally, it is something that shapes your heart toward God and others. So I’m telling you, verse 22, the condition of your angry spirit is the same thing as murder.
If we take Jesus’ words seriously, we must come to the conclusion we have broken this law and do so often. As one put it, “Killing does not only mean destroying life physically, it means still more trying to
destroy the spirit and the soul, destroying the person in any shape or form.” So we’re left here, looking at our murderous angry hearts and we see rather quickly that Jesus’ words and teaching exceed our capacity. I’m angry and I can’t help it!
If that is you, I have great news for you; there is grace for you in the Gospel of Christ.
Here’s how one writer frames it:
“The same Jesus who issues these commands also blesses the poor in spirit — those who know they cannot obey. The same Jesus who issues these commands gave his life as a ransom for disciples who cannot obey them. Jesus also gives empowering grace; he sends his Spirit to give us the capacity to begin, at least, to obey him. Yes, our obedience is always imperfect, but we can make progress... our progress may be slow, but Jesus does work in our hearts.”