Today’s Gospel: Matthew 5:20-26
Jesus, are You serious? Who hasn’t called someone a “fool” before? Who hasn’t gotten angry with another person? Taking the law to the heart of the matter is tough business. Jesus wants a complete transformation of love. When we love our brothers and sisters in Christ, it’s got to be more than just going through the outward motions.
I’ve heard it said that we can’t be culpable for our emotions or how we “feel.” These are things that we can’t control. People are going to frustrate us and make us mad. It’s that next step that is crucial, that Jesus is asking us to take. And that step is love.
It’s ok if someone cuts us off in traffic. We may have a gut reaction to yell and get mad at the person in the car in front of us. What Jesus is asking us to do is simply to love and show mercy. Perhaps the person was in a hurry. Perhaps the person made a mistake. Or even perhaps the person just is a terrible driver. The reason isn’t what’s important. What’s important is that you show love (and forgiveness) to that person. Don’t let that first emotional response turn to anger or another sin, like yelling “You idiot!” out the window.
Is this tough to do? Yes, but with prayer and time spent meditating on God’s love for us, the task becomes easier.
Is there an angry trigger in your life in need of mindful prayer to get it under control?
Dear Jesus, help us to remember Your love for us so that we can more easily love others, even when they make us angry.
Copyright 2017 Tami Kiser