I have a new article up at NewEvangelizers.com.
When it comes to this commandments, most people think of themselves as scot free regarding the fifth.
“I never killed anyone!”
And to be sure most of us (I pray) are not murderers.
But this commandment goes beyond the mere act of killing. Yes, most of us will not willfully take an innocent human life. And a lot of ink has already been spilled on issues of abortion and euthanasia. These are incredibly pressing and important topics, but I would like to spend time on something a little closer to home.
But do we kill people with our anger?
Let me be clear, there is nothing sinful about anger speaking purely about it as an emotional reaction. We may not have control over our immediate emotional response. If someone steps on our toes or cuts us off in traffic, we may feel the made flush of anger rise up in us. This is not a sin, it is only a feeling.
And to go further, not all anger is bad. Jesus never sinned. But if you look at the Gospels, Jesus got angry quite a lot. Anger at sin and injustice can be a positive force that can fuel the fire for positive change in the world. Abolitionists were angry about the dehumanization of slavery. Pro-lifers are angry about the murder of the unborn.
CS Lewis wrote, “Christianity does not want us to reduce by one atom the hatred we feel for cruelty and treachery We ought to hate them… But it does want us to hate them in the same way in which we hate things in ourselves: being sorry the man should have done such things, and hoping… he can be cured and made human again.” (Mere Christianity Book III, Ch. 7, Paragraph 6)
You can read the entire article here.