I figured that if Jesus said it, it's pretty important, so we're going to be looking at some of the teachings of Jesus.
“You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, ‘You must not murder anyone. Any person who commits murder will be judged.’ But I tell you, don’t be angry with anyone. If you are angry with others, you will be judged. And if you insult someone, you will be judged by the high court. And if you call someone a fool, you will be in danger of the fire of hell."
God commanded his people not to commit murder when he gave Moses the Ten Commandments, but Jesus told them that they shouldn't even be angry with others. We live in a culture driven by rage. Everyone is angry about something (or everything) - basketball referees, work, your English assignment, your Science teacher, the kid who looked at you sideways, cyclists, plastic straws, paper straws...
Proverbs 29:11 says, Fools are quick to express their anger, but wise people are patient and control themselves.
When you are angry, don’t let that anger make you sin, and don’t stay angry all day.
When I was a kid, we were encouraged to count to ten when we were angry, which gave us an opportunity to calm down before acting on our anger. People often regret or get into trouble for acting on their anger. You can't take back cruel words, physical violence or wilful damage. When you are angry, take some deep breaths, count to ten (or 100), go for a walk (if it's safe to do so) and pray before responding.
Jesus gave us an example of how to pray in Matthew chapter six which is commonly known as The Lord's Prayer. Verse 9 says So this is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, we pray that your name will always be kept holy. The first part of this verse instructs us to address God as 'our Heavenly Father.' We don't have to address him formally as you would a king or queen, but rather as our heavenly Dad. What a privilege to address the creator of the universe as our father.
The second part of the verse means, may your name be kept holy, celebrated, glorified, revered and praised. It is effectively saying, 'God, we give praise you. We want our lives to glorify you.'
The first two important aspects of prayer from this verse are:
Challenge: Are there things in your life that don't glorify God? Bring them to God and ask him to help you live a life that honours him.
Matthew 12:35-37 says, You can be sure that on the Judgment Day you will have to give account of every useless word you have ever spoken. Your words will be used to judge you—to declare you either innocent or guilty.
These verses massively challenge me every time I read them. Jesus said that we are accountable for every word we say, I repeat, EVERY WORD. I know that there are things that I say that I shouldn't, especially when I am angry, frustrated, tired, trying to be clever or funny. Be wise in what you let come out of your mouth. Will your words declare that you are guilty of being worldly, or will they declare that you are innocent and follower of Jesus?
The good news is that you can ask God to forgive you for the silly, hurtful, unkind and untrue things that you have said and he will forgive you.
Prayer has typically been portrayed as something you do on your knees with your hands fastened in front of you and your eyes closed but this isn't the only way you can pray. Kneeling is a symbol of respect but the attitude of respect is more important than your posture when you pray. No one is quite sure where the palms pressed together or hands clasped originated from, possibly to keep you from fiddling. There is no mention in the Bible about closing your eyes during prayer, though this too could prevent you from looking around and getting distracted. In John 17:1 it says, After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed. It's hard to look toward heaven with your eyes closed.
When you pray, kneeling, closing your eyes, bowing your head and clasping your hands are not important. God looks at your heart, not your physical posture.
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.