Grace Community Church

Rage or Reconciliation

Given on October 31, 2021 by Brett Helvie
Scripture: Matthew 5:21-26

What things tend to make you angry? Why do you think those things tick you off? How do you typically respond when anger wells up in you? What comes out of your mouth? What do you do when it is someone in the church that has caused you to get hot under the collar?
Some see Jesus’ response to anger here as disproportionate to the offense (the fires of Gehenna for calling someone a “fool”?!). How do you react to Jesus’ statement? God is not a “no anger” God but a “slow to anger” God (Ex 34:6), Jesus himself got angry (e.g. Mt 12:21; Mk 3:1) and tells us not to sin in our anger (Eph. 4:26) so it is obviously possible to be angry and not out of God’s will. How do we distinguish “godly” anger from merely human anger that never brings about God’s righteousness (Jms 1:19&20)?
When we are angry we almost always feel that our anger is justified because we are in the right. Yet, in reality the other person generally feels the exact same way! How can an understanding of our own sinfulness and the grace God has extended toward us (despite his fully justified anger at our sin) move us towards reconciling our relationships? Prov 19:11
There is a sense of urgency in Jesus’ command to be reconciled with others (‘leave your gift..go’; “come to terms quickly…’). What typically happens when, instead of working to resolve our issues with others, we sit and stew in our anger? Are you aware of any of your relationships that could use some reconciliation? Do not let the sun go down on your anger…