God holds us accountable for every word we speak and He knows our motives behind the things we say.
Family Counseling Ministries -
Many of us probably recall a singsong rhyme from our
childhood, Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt
me. This, of course, is not true. Unkind, vicious words wound us deeply and we
seldom forget them.
God holds us accountable for every word that we speak, and He
alone knows the heart motives behind the things that we say. The Word of God
teaches us to soberly evaluate our words.
In the book of Matthew, Jesus addresses the sin of speaking
angry words. Jesus refers to three kinds of anger in Matthew 5:21,22,
You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, Do
not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you
that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again,
anyone who says to his brother, Racca, is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But
anyone who says, You fool! will be in danger of the fire of hell.
When we are angry with a brother or sister, we must resist the
temptation to lash out at him or her with cruel words.
The first type of anger that Jesus mentions is being angry
with a brother. When someone offends us, our natural response is to strike out
at him or her in anger, with our words, our actions and our attitudes. God is
able to grant us supernatural strength to respond with gentleness and
unconditional love for our offender.
The second kind of anger Jesus warns about is calling an
offender a rude, insulting name, Racca. Before we exonerate ourselves from
this particular sin, we must examine the meaning of the word Racca. It means
empty-headed. It is the equivalent of calling someone an idiot, or a
King David spoke of people who use wicked, slanderous
They sharpen their tongues as a serpent; the poison of a
viper is under their lips.
Racca is a word that communicates contempta word that
degrades someones dignity as a creature made in Gods image.
We place ourselves in grave danger when we call our brother or
sister a fool.
The third category of anger is the most offensive and
grievous to God. When we call our brother or sister a fool, we relegate him or
her to the ranks of rebels and reprobates. We call into question his or her
love for and devotion to God.
This type of anger is an expression of condemnation, hatred
and disgust. Jesus reserves His strongest warning for someone who calls another
person a fool. He leaves no room for doubt as to the destiny that awaits such
Anger causes devastating problems in all of our relationships.
People quit their jobs or get fired from them because of unresolved conflict
and anger. Marriages and families fall apart because a husband or a wife
refuses to deal biblically with his or her problem with anger.
Children emulate the anger that they witness in their
parents behavior and they become increasingly aggressive with family members
and other acquaintances.
Many churches have disintegrated because someone spoke cruel,
angry words and refused to repent of his or her sin.
Church congregations split and go their separate ways,
often because of an angry disagreement between two people who behave selfishly.
They are unwilling to humble themselves in repentance for their angry words or
The words of Ephesians 4:25-27 eloquently summarize Gods
directive for how we should speak to one another and how we should deal with
anger biblically: Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of
you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry, and yet do
not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an