Whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the fire of Gehenna.

For those of us who speak without thinking and spout off when we are irritated, the sobering words of our Lord in Matthew 5:22 are often dismissed. In today’s world, words uttered in anger may be considered to be a slight offense that can be justified by the circumstances. In our own mind, we may afterwards indulge in such justifications in which our focus remains riveted not on what has come out of our mouths, but on what the other person has said or done to us. “Well, I did get angry, but he was accusing me of something I didn’t do,” or “He had it coming to him. He didn’t recognize my hard … [Read more...]

Justifiable Anger?

In spite of Christ’s consistent and strong admonitions against anger, some Christians believe in such a thing as justifiable anger or righteous anger. Through a peculiar reading of scripture, they read justifiable anger into Christ driving out the moneychangers, confusing zeal and the natural aggressive aspect of the tripartite soul with the passion of anger.  Fathers, such as Saint John Chrysostom, however, state that His actions represented not justifiable anger, but a correction born of love that even the coarse moneychangers could not possibly misinterpret. Those who were angry, and not … [Read more...]