Daily D – Matthew 5:21-22

by | Jul 15, 2022 | Daily D | 0 comments

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Matthew 5:21, 22  “You have heard that 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. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” (NIV)

One of the most important lessons in life is knowing when to stop. This is true for sermonizers and drama queens. This is true for online shoppers and offline vacationers. 

Without the emotional muscle to stop ourselves, we tend to overindulge in arguments and desserts, donuts and angry outbursts. 

A simple, powerful tool employed against anger and other emotional reactions has proven itself helpful to many. How simple? As simple as a 3 x 5 index card. Take one of these cards and write on it in large block letters one of the most powerful four-letter words of all, STOP.

Place that card in your shirt pocket or somewhere else you can easily retrieve it. Place it on the dashboard of your car if you have a tendency to get ticked off at certain drivers. If you do not get irritated at certain drivers, STOP being such a pansy. 

I probably should have stopped before writing the last sentence. Please forgive me. We will call it “an illustration.” How’s that? 

The powerful idea of this simple tool is found in how it arrests our attention and refocuses our thought processes. This interruption to our stream of consciousness provides a way of escape from the unhealthy, unwholesome, unkind responses that turn simple arguments into emotional dramas. 

I learned to use this tool thirty years ago. Jesus taught something like it two thousand years ago. King Solomon was right. There is nothing new under the sun. 

How does anger most affect you? Are you a shouter or a seether? Are you a puncher or an isolationist? Whatever your chronic reactionary style, STOP it. STOP it before you say something you will regret now and forever. STOP it before you create emotional distance or endless separation. STOP it before it becomes something dangerous, deadly even. 

If your index cards have lines on one side, flip it over to the blank back side and write STOP. On the lined side, write these two verses. Let them remind you of how much you lose when you do not STOP in time. 

How easy is this? Maybe not easy at all, but it might just change your life.

I will STOP one moment too soon rather than one moment too late.

 
 
 
 
 

Our Father, please guard my mind and my mouth. Empower me to STOP before I take one more step down a path leading toward anger, hurt, or dissolution. Amen. 

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