Is it as wrong to get angry at someone as it is to murder them?
Q: I heard somewhere that the Bible says it's just as wrong to get angry at someone as it is to murder them. Is that true? I hope not, because I admit I get angry fairly easily. -- K.W.S.
A: You may be thinking of Jesus' words in the Sermon on the Mount, in which He warned us about the dangers of anger. He declared, "It was said to the people long ago, 'You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment" (Matthew 5:21-22).
Why does the Bible take anger so seriously? One reason is because of what it makes us do to others. If people never got angry, what would happen to our murder rate? How many other crimes are committed because of anger? The list is almost endless, because anger is at the root of so many other sins. No wonder the Bible says, "Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry" (Ephesians 4:26).
But the Bible also takes anger seriously because of what it does to us -- to our own hearts and minds. Like a deadly poison, anger eats away at our souls and turns us into bitter, unhappy people. No one likes to be around an angry person -- which often makes them even angrier.
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Don't let anger take root in your soul. Instead, turn to Jesus Christ and open your heart and life to Him. God loves you, and your life will never be the same once you realize this amazing truth. By a simple prayer of faith invite Christ into your life today, and then ask Him to fill you with love and compassion, instead of anger and hate.
(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.)(c)2018 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.