Example for Image classification system. From ...

Example for Image classification system. From U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. :ICS Class 02.11.11 Skull and crossbones (poison symbol) Category:Image class 02.11.11 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Six habits, universal to people of all cultures and time periods, are often practiced as right and good when, in reality, they are to the human spirit what acid is to human tissue.

The cumulative effect is to render transformation into a powerful, loving spirit like Christ’s impossible; they’re the definition of spiritual death. And since these habits are so sneaky, a quick refresher might help before getting to the main points.

God’s primary goal for mankind, as Old and New Testament writers and Jesus himself present it, is to regain a sound disposition (spirit) that can love God, self, and all neighbors, including enemies. This is the “new life from above” that spontaneously and cheerfully obeys God’s Law of love, brings maximum glory to Him, and allows us to rule with Christ throughout the ages to come. (more…)

Angry Talk (Comic Style)

Few people, even Christians, realize that the secret to well-being is to gradually kill off six universal culprits that sabotage it. Jesus exposes them in his Sermon on the Mount, Unfortunately, however, it has become more and more the Sermon That Doesn’t Count.

When it comes to real life, Jesus has been framed as pretty much clueless, not exactly the modern go-to guy for life-coaching. He’s only good for his blood, his gig on the cross, and a few profound sayings that even Christians pay no attention to. Consequently, it is we who are clueless.

So I thought a series on these sneaky culprits would be helpful since they often come disguised as “right.” The secret to their demise is the Sermon’s sequence. Though we’ve heard it a million times, few people have heard that the order in which Jesus teaches is key. And his first step is to eliminate retained anger and contempt:

You have heard it said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I’m telling you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment also. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” (Mat. 5:21-22)

When Jesus says “angry with,” that includes everything from little pet peeves all the way up to raging violence. A “brother” is anyone; it’s synonymous with “neighbor” or “others.” And “subject to judgment” refers to human judgment as well as God’s.

Contempt covers a lot of ground, too. “You fool!” is a dangerous mind-set because it includes all forms of ridicule, shame, malice, indignation, and superiority.

The Mechanics of Anger