Read. Matthew 5:21-22
21 “You have heard that it was said to those who lived long ago, Don’t commit murder,[a] and all who commit murder will be in danger of judgment. 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with their brother or sister will be in danger of judgment. If they say to their brother or sister, ‘You idiot,’ they will be in danger of being condemned by the governing council. And if they say, ‘You fool,’ they will be in danger of fiery hell.
Reflect. Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, startlingly widened the sixth commandment’s reach (cf. Exodus 20:13). Contempt or anger, leading to words that tear down and destroy others, is as morally destructive as the physical act of murder, he said. We are in the midst the campaign season for a presidential election, full of negative ads and angry rhetoric.
• Scholar William Barclay showed how Jesus condemned, first, “the anger over which a person broods, and which he will not allow to die;” then the Aramaic word raca, which he said is “almost untranslatable, because it describes a tone of voice ... It’s the whole accent of contempt;” and finally the Greek mōros, the most deadly offense. “To call a man mōros was not to criticize his mental ability; it was to cast aspersions on his moral character; to take his name and reputation from him.” Reflect on how Jesus’ words apply to the political speech of candidates and big-money ad campaigns, and your personal speech about candidates and office-holders.
COMMUNITY PRAYER LIST
Doug Lawson. Collier. Glenn Ethridge. Adam Funderburk. Mary Reber. Linda Harmon. Betty Carolyn Ward. Albert Rasanke. Lois Robinson. Ross Henley. Tiny & Donald Creasman. Bill and Barbara Buchanan. Bonnie Brenner. Baker Family. Robert McKenzie Family. Kibler family. Carolyn Harlow. Jeff Green. Earl Graves. Mickey Huff. Huff & Welch families. Helen Leigh. Paul Huffman. Schools, Teachers, Staff, Parents, Students. Church regathering plans. Layman family. Charlene Withrow. Brandon Casteel. Dirk Orr family. Smith family. Crowder family. Lillard family. Family of Floyd Eaton. Family of Eddie Rynes. Robertson Family. Harmon Family. Nancy Ryan & family. Bobby Roberts. Elizabeth May & family. Melvin Rinehart. Susan Rogers. Brandon Haugh.
Our current teaching series, The Power of Words, was adapted from a series developed by our partners at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection and used with permission. Many of the resources and graphics are provided by our partners. During this series, our Read.Reflect.Pray. guide publishes the daily devotional guide (called Grow, Pray, Study) from our partners with minor adaptation.