This Week in Church: All the Anger

Welcome to the series wherein I share my takeaways from church. The things that, I think, are beneficial to all of us to know or think about, whether or not we believe in any church-related things.

I think that church can teach things that are beneficial to everyone, whether or not we believe in church-related things.

This week in church we talked about anger being just as bad as murder.

In my experience, the church has a confusing relationship with the concept of anger. On one hand, God gets angry. Jesus drove merchants out of the temple with whips. On the other hand, Jesus also says that anger is just as bad as murder.

Is it "do as I say, not as I do"? Is there a different standard? It's a bit awkward. Plus, maybe a slight case of false equivalence?

This week's unpacking highlighted something I haven't yet heard - that the Greek word Jesus uses for anger when he says it's basically murder isn't just the feeling of being mad. It's the kind of anger that is nursed, that leads to contempt.

It's the anger that judges the heart and soul of another person, saying they will never be more than they are now. (Or really, then we perceive them to be now.)

Ah yes, that is different. And maybe still functionally not as bad as murder, because nobody is dead, but in our hearts, it is certainly on the continuum.

This week in church we talked about egos.

When we have anger that we hold onto and polish, how often is it the simple result of a wounded ego?

Probably a lot.

(Man, I wish that we didn't all care about our self-image so dang much! What a gift it would be to go through life not trying to protect our lil' baby egos against every bruise.)

This week in church we talked about making amends.

When you are holding that kind of anger for someone else, chances are, you've got to confess it. It may be the only way to rid yourself of it.

But more than that, when you know that someone else has a problem with you, according to Jesus, you should go to them and make it right. This is pretty counter to the prevailing attitude of, "If someone has a problem with me, they can come talk to me about it." Instead, this model says that if you know someone has a problem with you, you should be the one to take the first step in reconciliation.

Kind of different. Kind of terrifying.

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