Murder Begins in the Heart
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
I have been thinking on this a lot lately and actually made mention of it to David Myers this weekend. We tend to categorize sins on a list from the BIG ones to the little ones, as silly as it sounds we all do it. We look at someone who murders another as someone we wouldn't associate with but it clearly says in scripture that when we harbor anger in our hearts toward others we are guilty of murder.
WHOA now! I am not a murderer.... or am I? The answer to that would have to be yes because I do harbor anger toward people. The main goal for me this year has been to see people how Jesus sees them and while this isn't always easy if we can get in that practice it makes people more attractive to us. I have been guilty in the past of keeping people at arms length so that I don't get hurt because let's be honest we are human, and as much as we don't want to hurt people or get hurt it is inevitable that it will happen. That is one reason that forgiveness is essential to our daily lives.
We can't hold people at arm's length forever. We are called to reach out and GO, that involves risk but the risk is so worth it.