Today's Word of Encouragement
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny (Matthew 5:25-26).
Jesus cited 3 ways in which 6th Commandment, You shall not murder, can be violated: (1) anger that can turn into malice that condemns people and even takes someone’s life, vv. 21-22, (2) hypocrisy resulting from harboring anger or hatred toward another person while expressing love for God in worship, vv. 23-24, and (3) pride that causes anger, resentment, and stubbornness that thwarts the principle of being a peace-maker, vv. 25-26. It should be clear that violating the 6th Commandment is all about the motive of anger.
Jesus reminded His followers of their obligation to the moral Law of God. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:37-40). You cannot have one without the other.
In this 3rd example of violating the 6th Commandment, Jesus demonstrated how anger can cause a person to ‘shoot himself in the foot’ by becoming so prideful that he suffers from his own resentment and stubbornness. “Make up with your enemy before he takes you to court. Compromise is better than prison where no principle is involved, but only personal interest” (A.T. Robertson).
To be so prideful that you become hostile, belligerent, resentful, and/or stubborn toward others to the point you refuse to be a peace-maker is certainly not the characteristic of a true follower of Jesus Christ. To be so combative and/or contentious to the extent you would take a person to court and sue him/her is a violation of the 6th Commandment.
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law (Romans 13:8-10).
“Father, open my eyes to see the depth of Your moral law and the many ways it applies to my daily life. I truly want to love You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and I do want to love my neighbor as You have said, but it can be so difficult in the face of such moral corruption, hatred and violence. You have called me to be a peace-maker, to love my enemy, to pray for those who stand against me. Help me to do these things, and at the same time show the love of Jesus to those who don’t even know Him. Amen.”