Anyway, when I got to verse 21 it was titled in my Bible "Teaching about Anger" and it almost took my breath away because I realized that this is SO something that I've been struggling with for quite some time with someone who was once a very good friend of mine. I actually had to stop by her house yesterday on my way to dinner with my husband, his mom and the kids since she had emailed me a few times asking for something I borrowed quite some time back. This was the first time I had seen her since before Thanksgiving so it was a little nerve racking since I've had a lot of hurt and anger to deal with caused by her. But something about my visit that was really only supposed to be a 1minute drop off, seemed like it was 30 minutes but realistically was about maybe 10 or so, just set me free.
When I was reading this morning, it made a ton of things just click for me.
21-22"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.
23-24"This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.
25-26"Or say you're out on the street and an old enemy accosts you. Don't lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him. After all, if you leave the first move to him, knowing his track record, you're likely to end up in court, maybe even jail. If that happens, you won't get out without a stiff fine.