by John McKain

Mending Fences
John McKain
Matthew 5:23-26

Last week we began our discussion by looking at Matthew, chap. 5, verse 21. In those verses, Christ is talking about anger. We discussed that most of our anger arises out of self- centeredness. We have our plans, we have our goals, we have our dreams, or we have our ideas thwarted by some overwhelming, obstinate, obstacle. And then rising tide of rage erupts within us like a voluminous volcano.

But we learned that kingdom citizens ought not to have misguided, misapplied anger. Indeed, a Christian's anger ought to be limited to those things which God gets angry at; and that is sin. We are cautioned to not be angry in such a way that we think less of another individuals worth. We are cautioned not to say anything which would demean or devalue a person's worth before God.

For if we do, Jesus equates it with violating the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill".

Well, what if we are angry at another? What if we are harboring residual dislike, fuming discontent, or a persistent agitation at another? What are we to do? Perhaps we find answer to our question in verses 23-26. Our Lord puts it this way: (Read)

This is a most significant and important statement. Jesus tells us first of all to: I. Mend our fences with others, even if we are the innocent party, before we worship Him.

Not only are we not to harbor murder and evil thought in our heart against another; but the commandment not to kill really means we should take positive steps to put ourselves right with our brother. The danger is that we may stop at God's negative command. Just as long as we have not committed murder, we are O.K. But there is a second stage that we too often forget.

You see, we tend to say, "I must not actually commit murder, and I must not say these unkind things against people. I must put a guard upon my lips; though the thought is there, I must not say it." And there we tend to stop and say: "As long as I do not say these thi ...

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