Do not murder” (Deut 5:17)

If you ask anyone whether or not they are a good person, almost everyone will tell you yes, they are a good person.  Because they haven’t done anything bad like “murder someone.”

But how do we know?

Vince Vitale tells the story that has a high school kid he hated another guy.  So he picked on him relentlessly and said mean things to him.  Many years later he heard that guy grew up and eventually committed suicide.  He wonders if he had not picked on him so much and been to him, would he still be alive?

There are many ways we can murder.

  • We can murder someone’s reputation.  I’ve had that happen to me.
  • We can murder someone’s hope.  I’ve seen that in other people.
  • We can murder even in our hearts by cutting them out of our hearts and becoming indifferent.

Jesus spoke of murder in a different way.  He said that anyone who hates someone is a murderer in their heart:

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” (Mt 5:21-22)

With this definition who hasn’t murdered?  Who hasn’t in their heart been angry and called them a bad name?  Or hated someone?

There are many ways to murder.  And we are all guilty.

But the worst murder of all is to end their life.  To take away all that God has put in them.