Have you ever gotten angry with someone? Maybe someone said something insensitive, looked at you the wrong way, or did something that got on your nerves. If you have, then I can relate; I’ve been angry. In fact, I was angry with someone for four years! I spent the majority of that time making sure he knew it. Worse, I felt good about it. I thought to myself, “That’s what he gets for what he did to me!”
The text included above helped me pump the brakes on my anger. This is another excerpt from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, and in context, He is encouraging those listening to be better than the Pharisees. The Pharisees were the religious leaders; they often criticized certain behaviors while celebrating actions that were equally as appalling. In particular, they thought murder was such a heinous act, and they shunned inflicting physical harm upon others. But Jesus wanted the audience to know that our thoughts and words are just as heinous as our physical actions. John said it like this, “Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart” (1 John 3:15, New Living Translation).
The message today is the same message Jesus had for this audience and me a few years ago – let it go! When people talk about you, let it go. When people mistreat you, let it go. Don’t waste energy storing up anger; instead, be uncommon and love the devil out of those who irritate you.