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Harbor of Hope

Staff Blog - A Church Full of Murderers

A Church Full of Murderers

Posted by Kelly Tibbitts on

“You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill..." Matthew 5: 21-22

Wow- that is a hard verse. I prefer to think of myself in terms other than “murderer”. I wish I never got angry, but I do. Thanks to the love of Christ, these outbursts occur less often. When the anger in me bubbles out, Matthew 5 reminds me it is not ok.

When I forget who I am in Christ, I become defensive and fight for what I want, when I want it. When my needs are not met, when I get tired, hungry or when those around me fail at doing what I expect, I find myself angry. Jesus says- I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. 

I do not want that to be what Jesus says. I wish he would say I could be angry if people are mean first. But he says that my words can kill. And when they do, I become a murderer.

When my girls argue with each other, I often tell them they can be “right” or in relationship. Life can be hard, and sometimes it seems easier to be alone- alone but “right”. The book of Romans tells us that “we should do all that we can to live in peace with everyone”. We need to put others first. Pray for Unity. Forgive.

The only way for me not to damage those I love with words spoken in anger, is for God’s great love to fill me. I picture my soul like a glass. When I am filled with the Holy Spirit, love pours out. 

When my soul is dry~ anger and pain flow out. When they do, it is a big deal. My words can cut and scar a heart. A home filled with screaming is not a home filled with “light and salt”. Words spoken in anger do not sound like Jesus.

In the book of James we are reminded- 1:22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

I think I fool myself because it is so hard to look at God’s Word; believe it and do it. 

So my prayer is that I will take very seriously what Jesus says. I will see the sin of speaking to others in anger. I will believe that “out of the overflow of my heart; my mouth speaks”, so I will seek out His kingdom and His righteousness. 

And the good news is that He will fill me. That is why Harbor helps people find their way back to God. We can freely say that we are a church filled with redeemed sinners. Our souls have been bought with the blood of Jesus.

Christ alone is why we can live fully and love deeply.