Our actions and our speech reflect what is going on in our hearts.
Jesus addressed an intriguing aspect of heart in Matt. 5:21-22. Jesus described three levels of anger that builds up to a heart ripe for murder. First Jesus mentioned the emotion "anger," which in this context is harsh feelings toward someone. Next Jesus mentioned calling someone "raca" or a good for nothing. Then Jesus mentioned calling someone a "fool," which in this context means morally worthless.
Think for one hot second. When you think of a person as having no worth or value, you began to see them, and treat them as less than human.
Get it? Calling people names that makes them less then human in our minds helps us to justify oppression, all forms of racism, cruelty, negative discrimination, injustice, revenge, and even murder.
In Matt. 5:23-26, Jesus taught that we must defuse building tension in relationships through reconciliation.
Christians, as peacemakers, we must practice principles that defuse tension, and promote healing through reconciliation. Tension does not ease with quiet, or inaction. Tension is relieved and healing occurs with reconciliation.
Christians, let us pray, and practice II Chron. 7:14, and do our part to facilitate reconciliation in relationships within our sphere of influence.
I will address several issues on 7/9-10/16, in the sermons.
Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.