You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 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.
Christians are called to a higher standard of living than non-believers. We are saved by grace. Our sins are forgiven, but we are to follow Christ’s example and in studying his teaching we will find that he had very high standards. Our mission is to be a light to the world and to be a preserving salt. Faithfully following his teaching is the key to achieving those objectives. One area of our lives that must be controlled and put before the cross is anger. Jesus did not mince words. Anger is as big a sin as murder.
Righteous anger does exist and in the right frame-of-mind, we can have righteous anger. Righteous anger is anger over sin. Anger at the works of sin. Anger at the impact of sin. However, we must watch ourselves and avoid anger that is not righteous. Anger that is not targeted squarely at sin, is dangerous and does not serve God’s purpose. It often dulls the light that is supposed to shine through us.