Heart of Anger

Isaiah 65–66; 1 Timothy 2

Anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Matthew 5:22

Guernica, Pablo Picasso’s most important political painting, was a modernist portrayal of the 1937 destruction of a small Spanish town by that name. During the Spanish revolution and the ramp-up to World War II, Nazi Germany’s planes were permitted by Spain’s Nationalist forces to use the town for bombing practice. These controversial bombings took scores of lives, drawing the attention of a global community concerned over the immorality of bombing civilian targets. Picasso’s painting captured the imaginations of the watching world and became a catalyst for debate about humanity’s capacity to destroy one another.

For those of us who feel confident that we would never intentionally shed blood, we should remember Jesus’ words, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment” (Matthew 5:21–22). The heart can be murderous without ever actually committing murder.

When unchecked anger toward others threatens to consume us, we desperately need the Holy Spirit to fill and control our hearts so that our human tendencies can be replaced by the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:19–23). Then, love, joy, and peace can mark our relationships.

By: Bill Crowder

Reflect & Pray

How healthy are your relationships? How can you allow the Spirit to produce fruit that enables healthier relationships?

Heavenly Father, help me when I want to strike back at those who hurt me. Please help me to respond with love.

Learn more about the place of forgiveness in your life.