"Whoever is angry with someone will be liable to judgement." Matthew 5:21
We have all gotten angry with someone at one time or another. Anger is defined as a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility. It can go from rage to irritation or a slight exasperation. Before Jesus said this about anger, He gave this strong proclamation: "Of this much I assure you: until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter of the law, not the smallest part of the letter, shall be done away with until it all comes true."
How much more emphatic can Jesus be! Does this not mean that every little yodh (the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet), and the tiniest serif (stroke at the end of a letter), is inspired by God and has His imprimatur, His official approval?!!! We definitely need to understand clearly what Jesus means by anger because He says that anyone and everyone who grows angry with his brother will be liable to judgment the same way that a murderer is liable to judgement. If we are abusive with our maids, if we belittle our employees, if we show contempt for others, feeling they are beneath us, this all falls under Jesus' definition of anger.
I was listening to someone recently describing a woman in church. She knew her as such a nice and gentle person, she said, but she was shocked when she visited her at home. She treated her maids with disdain and would shout at them! I suppose there are parts in our character we are not aware of, shadows that can't bear examination.
Lord, make me aware of whatever there is in my life that is not pleasing to You. Help me to surrender all to You. It is impossible to obey all the yodhs and serifs of the law, but my hope lies in You. You are my righteousness!