How to Reconcile Relationships

Wow, we have now come to the third command in this Adult Stage or Equip Level of disciplemaking, on how to reconcile relationships in Matthew 5:21-26. The commands (each present imperative) are found in Matthew 5:23, 25 – LEAVE, GO first BE RECONCILED, MAKE friends quickly. We find this also outside of the gospels (Acts 9:36, 26:18, 1 Corinthians 7:11, 2 Timothy 3:3).

Questions to Consider:

1. Do you tend to internalize or ventilate anger?

2. What do you do when you become aware that someone is angry at you?

3. When is it better to just let a matter lie? (Proverbs 10:12, 17:9, 19:11, Colossians 3:13, 1 Peter 4:8)

4. What Type of anger are we justified in having? What type is Jesus condemning? (Ephesians 4:26)

5. Why is it important to deal with anger as soon as possible? (Ephesians 4:27)

6. Have you ever broken the the sixth commandment (Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17, Matthew 5:21)

7. With whom was Jesus contrasting his teaching? (Matthew 5:22)

8. Is verbal homicide as serious before God as physically killing someone? (Matthew 5:21-22)

9. Is Jesus condemning all uses of the word, “fool?” (Matthew 12:34, 15:19, Mark 7:21, Matthew 23:17)

10. Where did the expression “the fiery hell” (literally, Gehenna of fire) come from? (Matthew 5:22)

11. Who is liable for the same punishment as an actual murderer? (Matthew 5:22, 1 John 3:15)

12. What two illustrations does Jesus use to expose the seriousness of anger? (Matthew 5:23-26)

13. Why is it important to be reconciled based on these two illustrations?

14. What commands does Jesus give to us whether we are the innocent or guilty party? (Matthew 5:24-25)

15. Are some people irreconcilable? What are we to do then? (1 Corinthians 7:11, 2 Timothy 3:3, Proverbs 18:19, Romans 12:18)


Matthew 5:21, You have heard the ancients were told – These were rabbis and scribes who came up with the many traditions that became burdensome, which had virtually replaced the authority of Scripture. Jesus refers to the traditional interpretations of scriptural commands.

Matthew 5:21, you shall not commit murder – This is straight from the Ten Commandments, and Jesus had already affirmed his support for the Law (Matthew 5:17). His problem was how the ancients interpreted the law, as merely taking a human life. Genesis 9:6 affirms this principle long before there was any Law of Moses. “Murder” in the NASB and “kill” in the KJV do not refer to capital punishment (apparently a divine allowance against those who take an innocent life, essentially to commit murder). Killing is permitted in a just war, according to divine plan, and is permitted in the case of self-defense, because we all have the right to protect the image of God in our lives and the lives of others when they are assaulted or attacked by those who would kill them. Nor does this refer to accidental deaths, according to Deuteronomy 19).

Matthew 5:22, but I say to you – The law goes much deeper than just our actions, it addresses the attitude of the heart. The attitude behind murder is hate or anger (Matthew 5:22, 15:19, 1 John 3:15). Anger is a God given emotion that when misused will tear us up or tear up others.

  1. Tearing up Others: Vented Anger (Proverbs 12:16, 14:29, 15:18, 16:32, 29:11, 29:22, Galatians 5:19-20)
  2. Tear up Ourselves: Internalized Anger (Ephesians 4:31, Proverbs 30:33)

The command in Ephesians 4:26 is to be angry, yet do not sin, and don’t let the sun go down on your anger. When we don’t express our anger it becomes a toxic waste of bitterness, resentment, and holding grudges. We can bury it, but it will eventually leak. In Ephesians 4:27, such anger gives the devil an opportunity or beachhead, the word actually means “place” or “foothold.”

Matthew 5:22, Saying raca (or good for nothing) shall be guilty before the court – basically unable to escape the punishment of the court. “Fool” literally means “Empty-headed” or “brainless idiot.” It was a word of arrogant contempt. Jesus suggested here that the verbal abuse stems from the same sinful motives (anger and hatred) that ultimately lead to murder. The internal attitude is what the law actually prohibits, and therefore an abusive insult carries the same kind of moral guilt as an act of murder.

Although there is a progression in the evil attitudes cited, Jesus intends to show that behind the overt act of murder is the disposition of anger, hostility, or contempt. Although attitudes may not be tried in court, they are as dangerous as the overt acts of wrong for which one is tried in court or for which one stands in danger of hell fire, unless one experiences God’s forgiveness in Christ.

Matthew 5:22, the fiery hell – This is a reference to the Hinnom Valley, southwest of Jerusalem. Ahaz and Manasseh permitted human sacrifices there during their reigns (2 Chronicles 28:3; 33:6, Jeremiah 7:31, Ezekiel 16:20, 23:37), and therefore it was called “The Valley of Slaughter” (Jeremiah 19:6). In Jesus’ day, it was a garbage dump where fires burned continually and was thus an apt symbol of eternal fire. Josiah abolished these practices and defiled the area by making it a dumping ground for executed criminals (2 Kings 23:10). Later, this valley has eschatological references (Matthew 10:28, 23:15, 33, 18:9) dealing with punishment.

Matthew 5:23, presenting your offering at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you – The point is “suddenly” remember (aorist, passive subjunctive) where subjunctive affirms the possibility; it assumes the idea is NOT a fact but may become one. The passive indicate the subject is being acted upon, receiving the action. So, the subject is you and God is causing you to remember something. We often don’t take such initiatives in relationships, but God will bring to mind what we are to do, because unresolved anger in the heart hinders worship. We are preoccupied with hatred or anger of the other person who has offended us, but this passage tells us to be equally concerned for when we provoke anger in others intentionally or unintentionally.

Reconciliation is important because it can become intensive and explosive. Anger distorts facts. The longer we wait to resolve a situation the more distorted and exaggerated the situation becomes in the eyes of the offended one and minimized in the eyes of the offender.

  1. In Matthew 5:23-24, the one with the gift may be innocent, the fault may be on the one who holds the anger against him (so his anger stands in the way of him worshiping).
  2. In Matthew 5:25-26, the one who is about to deliver someone to the judge is becoming angrier over time and will demand satisfactory restitution.

It is interesting to note that Jesus is not give steps to dealing with OUR anger, but with OUR offense that has provoked anger in someone else.

We are to make friends or agree quickly. Jesus calls for reconciliation to be sought eagerly, aggressively, quickly, even if it involves self-sacrifice. It is better to be wronged than to allow a dispute between brethren to be a cause for dishonoring Christ (1 Corinthians 6:7). Our adversary is the opponent in a law case. Prison would mean debtor’s prison, where the person could work to earn back what he had defrauded.

Therefore, we get to the commands…

LEAVE (aorist imperative) your offering – Leaving immediately, aorist stresses urgency.

GO (present imperative) – When communicating to an angry person it is important to speak softly (Proverbs 15:1).

First BE RECONCILED (aorist passive imperative) to your brother – “First” stresses that reconciliation takes priority over worship, but leaving the gift anticipates the worshiper returning after obeying the command. This is not an isolated teaching on reconciliation (Acts 7:26, 1 Corinthians 7:11).

Reconciliation among people refers to mutual concession after mutual hostility. The Bible teaches that God does not need to be reconciled to us, but we must be reconciled to God (Romans 5:10, 2 Corinthians 5:18, 20, Ephesians 2:16, Colossians 1:20, 22). God is not hostile toward us, we are hostile toward God.
Some people are irreconcilable (2 Timothy 3:1-3, Romans 12:18).

And then COME and PRESENT (present active imperative) your offering – Once he returns to the temple, resume presenting the offering.

MAKE friends quickly (present imperative) with your opponent… – The Message reads Matthew 5:25-26 “Or say you’re out on the street and an old enemy accosts you. Don’t lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him. After all, if you leave the first move to him, knowing his track record, you’re likely to end up in court, maybe even jail. If that happens, you won’t get out without a stiff fine.” To make friends means to settle the account quickly before he faces judgment.

The Age of Rage:

Defining Anger

  • It is a God given emotion
  • We are commanded to be angry at some things (Ephesians 4:26)
  • The anger of Jesus (Mark 3:5, Hebrews 4:15)
  • The anger of men (James 1:20)

Mismanagement of Anger (Ephesians 4:27) It all starts when the enemy gets a foothold, stronghold, beachhead, opportunity.

Sources of Anger

  • Immature love (1 Corinthians 13:5) Agape does not get angry.
  • Psychological abuse (Proverbs 15:1)
  • Learned behavior (Proverbs 22:24-25)
  • Unwilling to deal with first emotions (anger is the second emotion, jealousy is the first emotion)
    • Cain’s anger with Able (Genesis 4:5)
    • Jacob’s anger with Rachel (Genesis 30:1-2)
    • Simon and Levi’s anger with Dinah’s rape (Genesis 34:7-25)
    • Jacob’s anger over Joseph’s favoritism (Genesis 37:4, 18)
    • Predisposition or sinful nature (John 8:44, 2 Peter 1:4)

Assessment of Anger

  • Acknowledge your angry feeling.
  • Backtrack to the first emotion
  • Confess sinful anger (1 John 1:9)
    • Sinful anger nurses a grudge (Ephesians 4:31) It is connected to rights.
    • Sinful anger has outbursts (Proverbs 29:11, 22b) Good anger is in control.
    • Sinful anger goes to bed upset (Ephesians 4:26) This anger is unused, or did not attack the problem.
      • We either bottle it up or we blow up.
      • Deal with the problem while it is fresh, hot, don’t delay or avoid.
      • The person is not the problem, the problem is the problem.

[Based on my classes with Richard D. Leineweber, Jr. c. 2000]

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Handling False Accusations

Here we have made it to the first command at the Adult Stage or the Equip Level of disciple-making.

This passage in the Sermon on the Mount is all about persecution of the believer. The odd thing is that Jesus tells us to rejoice, and be glad (Matthew 5:12), be glad and leap for joy (Luke 6:23), and remember (John 15:20).

  • Jesus was persecuted (John 5:16, 15:20) and predicted that his followers would experience the same (Matthew 23:34, Mark 10:22, Luke 11:49).
  • Persecution would determine the validity of their relationship to him (Matthew 13:21, Mark 4:17).

We find persecution throughout the book of Acts (Acts 7:52, 8:1, 9:4-5, 13:50, 22:4, 7-8, 26:11, 14-15) and in the letters (Romans 8:35, 12:14, 1 Corinthians 4:12, 15:9, 2 Corinthians 4:9, 12:10, Galatians 1:13, 23, 4:29, 5:11, 6:12, Philippians 3:6, 1 Thessalonians 2:15, 2 Thessalonians 1:4, 1 Timothy 1:13, 2 Timothy 3:11-12). Peter describes suffering persecution related to a pagan world, an earthly government, a place of employment, and a marriage; whereby his aim is to urge believers to stand firm in the grace that is available for those who suffer persecution (1 Peter 1:10, 13, 2:19-20, 3:7, 4:10, 5:5, 10, 12).

In class I will tell the story of “future grace” in relation to MK’s going off to boarding school…

Read Matthew 5:10-12:

1. Why do you think the first command in the equip level or adult stage is about persecution (Matthew 5:10-12, 10:16-23, Mark 3:14)?

2. What is being emphasized by repeating the work “blessed” twice (Matthew 5:10-11, 1 Peter 4:14)?

3. What does the word “persecution” mean (Matthew 5:10)?

  • To harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict specifically : to cause to suffer because of belief,
  • To annoy with persistent or urgent approaches.

4. What determines the degree of persecution that we might experience (Matthew 5:1-12, 2 Timothy 3:12)? When you desire to live a godly live in a society that embraces immorality and earthly values, EXPECT persecution. Do think it strange that bad things are happening to you (1 Peter 4:12).

5. For what should we be persecuted (Matthew 5:10, 1 Peter 4:15)?

  • In Matthew 5:10, this beatitude deals with those who are persecuted, not for their own wrongdoings, but for righteousness’ sake. The kingdom of heaven is promised to those believers who suffer for doing right. Their integrity condemns the ungodly world and brings out its hostility. People hate a righteous life because it exposes their own unrighteousness.
  • In Matthew 5:11, this final beatitude seems to be a repetition of the preceding one. However, there is one difference. In Matthew 5:10, the subject was persecution because of righteousness; here it is persecution for Christ’s sake. The Lord knew that His disciples would be maltreated because of their association with, and loyalty to, Him. History has confirmed this: from the outset the world has persecuted, jailed, and killed followers of Jesus.

6. What is the specific blessing that is promised to those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness (Matthew 5:10, Mark 10:29-30, 2 Thessalonians 1:5-7)?

  • To suffer for Christ’s sake is a privilege that should cause joy. A great reward awaits those who become companions of the prophets in earthly troubles.
  • Those OT spokesmen for God stood true in spite of persecution. All who imitate their loyal courage will share their present exhilaration and future exaltation.

7. What two forms of verbal abuse can followers of Jesus expect (Matthew 5:11)? Insults and false accusations.

  • Christians were accused of cannibalism since they were instructed to eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ (John 6:53-54). It was about the Last Supper but they twisted the meaning into something evil and detestable. Christians did not sacrifice their children and eat their flesh!
  • Christians were also accused of immoral practices, their meetings were said to have been orgies of lust. We know the weekly meetings were called agape feasts. Agape is the highest form of love, far from the “lust” (eros) of the pagan society. This was such a gross misinterpretation of the truth. The “kiss of peace” (Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:26, 1 Peter 5:14) became the grounds of scandalous accusations.
  • Christians were accused of being incendiaries. While they did talk about the coming of the end of the world, and clothed their conversations in apocalyptic language, their slanderers took these images and words and twisted them into threats of political and revolutionary upheaval. The greatest persecution was political, and the Roman Empire was pretty much the entire known world. Talk about another kingdom was not a welcomed conversation.
  • Christians were accused of tampering with family relationships. Families were split regarding issues of faith and following Jesus, which divided husband and wife, parents and children, which disrupted the home. Slanderous men had plenty of material to persecute the early Christians.

8. When was Christ insulted and falsely accused?

  • Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him, and said, “Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?” (Matthew 26:67-68)
  • The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” (Matthew 11:19)
  • They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him. After they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him. (Mark 15:19-20)

9. What four steps in dealing with persecution did Jesus model for us (1 Peter 2:21-25, 4:19)? See #5 BELOW.

10. When we are persecuted, the animosity is really directed towards whom (Matthew 5:11, John 15:18-21)? “Because of ME!”

  • I love the way John quotes Jesus, If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.”
  • Jesus is speaking to His disciples about a radical, kingdom way of life. He seems to imply that persecution is a likely result of His teaching.

11. What two commands in Matthew 5:12 describe what our attitude should be when persecuted? Rejoice and be glad.

12. What is the difference between these two commands (Matthew 5:12)? Here are Strong’s definitions…

  • The Greek word for rejoice (chairo) 74 occurrences; AV translates as “rejoice” 42 times, “be glad” 14 times, “joy” five times, “hail” five times, “greeting” three times, “God speed” twice, “all hail” once, “joyfully” once, and “farewell” once. 1) to rejoice, be glad. 2) to rejoice exceedingly. 3) to be well, thrive. 4) in salutations, hail!. 5) at the beginning of letters: to give one greeting, salute.
  • The Greek word for “be glad” (agalliao): 11 occurrences; AV translates as “rejoice” seven times, “be exceeding glad” once, “be glad” once, “greatly rejoice” once, and “with exceeding joy” once. 1) to exult, rejoice exceedingly, be exceeding glad.

13. What two reasons did Jesus give for maintaining right attitudes when we are persecuted (Matthew 5:12)? Your reward will be great in heaven, and the prophets before you were treated no differently.

Additional Comments of How to handle false accusations:

The Jesus movement had been fairly popular up to this point; the ministry had been fairly seeker-friendly but now disciples will face occasions that will not be so friendly (Acts 4:1-22, 5:17-42). We get a little insight into persecution from 2 Timothy 3:12.

1. Make sure the accusations against you are false. You may not be suffering for righteousness, but for your own sake, so you must sort that out. 1 Peter 4:15-16 give us guidance on the issue. Some people believe that we are suffering for sharing the gospel (because we are bold) but actually, we were rude. You will never be willing to be persecuted for a righteousness that you have never hungered and thirsted for.

2. Maintain a joyful attitude of acceptance of whatever may come due to your remaining faithful to Christ. “Blessed are those who (allow themselves to be) persecuted; (GREEK perfect passive participle) which is a continual willingness to endure the persecution. Take time on the day you are harassed to rejoice (Luke 6:23, 1 Peter 4:13, Acts 5:41). This is a disposition of inward joy, leaping (skip, jump, bubbling over), an outward unrestrained expression.

3. Anticipate a reward in heaven, for your reward will be great (Matthew 5:12, 20:21-23, 26:39, 2 Thessalonians 1:5).

4. Recognize that you are in good company, so they treated the prophets before you (Matthew 5:12), see also James 5:10, 11; 1 Peter 4:12–14.

  1. God’s spokesmen have always been treated badly:
    1. Elijah – 1 Kings 19:1-4
    2. Jeremiah – Jeremiah 26:8-11, 37:11-16, 38:1-6
    3. Daniel – Daniel 6:10-15
    4. Amos – Amos 7:10-13
    5. Zachariah – 2 Chronicles 24:20-21, 36:16
    6. In the NT – Acts 7:52, Hebrews 11:32-40
  2. Double-blessed – repeated emphasis on the generous blessing given by God to those who are persecuted (1 Peter 4:14).
  3. This is the first GREEK imperative (command) at the Equip Level or Adult Stage, and is the last beatitude. Jesus wanted his disciples to understand the paradox of ministry.
    1. Matthew 5:11 – cast insults, persecute, false accusations (on account of me). “Persecute” is to drive away, harass, unjust treatment, “say all kinds of evil against you” is to speak less of you.
    2. Luke 6:22 – hate you, ostracize you, cast insults, spurn your name as evil (for his sake).”Hate” is ill feeling toward us, “ostracize” is to exclude you, throw you out, “insults” means to cut you down, “spurn your name” means to smear or discredit you.
  4. Jesus spoke about the truth being uncomfortable in the life of unbelievers, and the world’s hatred for Christians (John 15:18-25, Matthew 10:16-26).
  5. Jesus spoke four commands at their commissioning service (Matthew 10:16-23):
    1. Behold (Matthew 10:16)
    2. Be shrewd (Matthew 10:16)
    3. Beware of men (Matthew 10:17)
    4. Flee (Matthew 10:23)
  6. Paul spoke of persecution and the proximity of ministry (2 Corinthians 6:3-10, 6:8).

5. Follow the example of Jesus (1 Peter 2:22-24)

  • Step One – Check your attitude (Jesus was without sin – 1 Peter 2:22)
  • Step Two – Refuse to retaliate with unkind words, Jesus blessed those who hurt him (1 Peter 2:23a, Luke 23:34, Acts 7:60).
  • Step Three – Deposit the situation into God’s hands through prayer (Jesus entrusted the situation into the hands of the Father (1 Peter 2:23b)
  • Step Four – Keep the goal in mind (pain with a purpose), Jesus suffered that we might be healed (1 Peter 2:24).

Check this out from Ray Comfort * regarding hecklers (The Way of the Master):

The best thing that can happen to an open-air meeting is to have a good heckler. Jesus gave us some of the greatest gems of Scripture because someone either made a statement or asked a question in an open-air setting. A good heckler can increase a crowd of 20 people to 200 in a matter of minutes. The air becomes electric. Suddenly, you have 200 people listening intently to how you will answer a heckler. All you have to do is remember the attributes of 2 Timothy 2:23–26: be patient, gentle, humble, etc.

Don’t worry if you can’t answer a question. Just say, “I can’t answer that, but I’ll try to get the answer for you if you really want to know.” With Bible “difficulties,” I regularly fall back on the powerful statement of Mark Twain: “Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they don’t understand, but for me I have always noticed that the passages that bother me are those I do understand.” …

… Remember that you are not fighting against flesh and blood. Hecklers will stoop very low and be cutting and cruel in their remarks. If you have some physical disability, they will play on it. Try to smile back at them. Look past the words. If you are reviled for the name of Jesus, “rejoice, and be exceeding glad.” Read Matthew 5:10–12 until it is written on the corridors of your mind.

The most angry hecklers are usually what we call “backsliders.” These are actually false converts who never slid forward in the first place. They “asked Jesus into their heart” but never truly repented. Ask him, “Did you know the Lord?” (see Hebrews 8:11). If he answers “Yes,” then he is admitting that he is willfully denying Him, and if he answers “No,” then he was never a Christian in the first place—“This is eternal life, that they might know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

* Comfort, R. (2003). The Evidence Bible: Irrefutable Evidence for the Thinking Mind, Notes (K. Cameron, Ed.). The Way of the Master Evidence Bible (1189). Orlando, FL: Bridge-Logos.

[Based on my classes with Richard D. Leineweber, Jr. c. 2000]

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Faith, Works and Salvation

Faith is a word with many meanings. It can mean faithfulness (Matthew 24:45). It can mean absolute trust, as shown by some of the people who came to Jesus for healing (Luke 7:2-10). It can mean confident hope (Hebrews 11:1). Or, as James points out, it can even mean a hollow belief that does not result in good deeds (James 2:14-26). What does Paul mean when in Romans he speaks of saving faith?

We must be very careful to understand faith as Paul uses the word, because he ties faith so closely to salvation. It is not something we must do in order to earn salvation – if that were true, then faith would be just one more deed, and Paul clearly states that human deeds can never save us (Galatians 2:16). Instead, faith is a gift God gives us because he is saving us (Ephesians 2:8). It is God’s grace, not our faith, that saves us. In his mercy, however, when he saves us he gives us faith – a relationship with his Son that helps us become like him (Romans 8:29). Through the faith he gives us, he carries us from death into life (John 5:24).

Even in Old Testament times, grace, not deeds, was the basis of salvation. As Hebrews points out, “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). God intended for his people to look beyond the animal sacrifices, but all too often they instead, put their confidence in fulfilling the requirements of the law – that is, performing the required sacrifices. When Jesus triumphed over death, he canceled the charges against us and opened the way to the Father (Colossians 2:12-15). Because God is merciful, he offers us faith. How tragic if we turn faith into a deed and try to develop it on our own! We can never come to God through our own faith, any more than his Old Testament people could come through their own sacrifices. Instead, we must accept his gracious offer with thanksgiving and allow him to plant the seed of faith within us.

What About Faith and Works in James?

James offers a larger number of similarities to the Sermon on the Mount than any other book in the New Testament. James relied heavily on Jesus’ teachings. The author of this epistle (post card) is James, also called James the Just, who is thought to be the brother of Jesus (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3). James was not a believer (John 7:3-5) until after the resurrection (Acts 1:14; 1 Corinthians 15:7; Galatians 1:19). He became the head of the Jerusalem church and is mentioned first as a pillar of the church (Galatians 2:9).

  1. When your life is full of difficulties and persecutions, be glad because a reward awaits you (James 1:2, Matthew 5:10-12)
  2. You are to be perfect, mature, and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:4, Matthew 5:48)
  3. Ask God, and he will answer (James 1:5; 5:15, Matthew 7:7-12)
  4. Those who are humble (who don’t amount to much by the world’s standards) should rejoice in their positions as those whom God loves (James 1:9, Matthew 5:3)
  5. Watch out for your anger because it can be dangerous (James 1;20, Matthew 5:22)
  6. Be merciful to others, because God is merciful to you (James 2:13, Matthew 5:7; 6:14)
  7. Your faith must express itself in helping others (James 2:14-16, Matthew 7:21-23)
  8. Blessed are the peacemakers; they sow in peace and reap a harvest of righteousness (James 3:17, 18, Matthew 5:9)
  9. You cannot serve God and money, pleasures, or evil. Friendship with the world is hatred toward God (James 4:4, Matthew 6:24)
  10. When we humble ourselves and realize our need for God, he will come to us and lift us up (James 4:10, Matthew 5:3, 4)
  11. Don’t slander or speak against others; it speaks against God’s command to love one another (James 4:11, Matthew 7:1, 2)
  12. Treasures on earth will only rot and fade away, so we must store up eternal treasures in heaven (James 5:2, Matthew 6:19)
  13. Be patient in suffering, as God’s prophets were patient (James 5:10, Matthew 5:12)
  14. Be honest in your speech so you can say a simple “yes” or “no” and always be trusted (James 5:12, Matthew 5:33-37)

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