TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19
“Whosoever hateth his brother
is a murderer.”
THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT AND YOU
The Sixth Commandment emphasizes the prohibition of the taking of life. The aim is preservation of life. It is against intentional, premeditated, unlawful, and unjust killing, and even accidental killing (Deut 19:4-6). However, killing someone in self-defence (Exod 22:2-3), or in lawful wars, or capital punishment (Rom 13:4) are acceptable, for these aim at and bring about the preservation of life, in fulfillment of the commandment. Some are against capital punishment, but this law preserves innocent lives from being taken.
You may think you have not committed murder and are unlikely to. But God says that you have committed murder when you hate someone unjustly (Matt 5:21-22; 1 John 3:15). So you must be very careful about sinful anger and hatred, which happens so often, hidden in our hearts. Instead, be forgiving, kind, forbearing, and seek reconciliation instead of harbouring grudge and bitterness. Remember that the desire for revenge is sin too. Character assassination through gossip and maligning others are such behaviours.
Negligent and irresponsible acts that lead to loss of life makes one guilty of bloodshed (Deut 22:8). So be careful when you drive, cycle, or play sports. We must not be reckless towards others and self. Certain sports that put you or others at risk of death or danger are to be avoided. It is also important that you realize suicide is murder of self. God gave you life, so you have no right to take your own life. Euthanasia contravenes this commandment and Christians must not be tempted to bow to pressure, no matter how difficult the circumstance. It is also called medically-assisted suicide, which is just a nice-sounding medical term for breaking this commandment. This means we must also not be careless with our bodies in how we work, what we do, eat, and drink, so that we do not destroy our health.
THOUGHT: Do I harbour hatred against others and am reckless in how I live and what I do?
PRAYER: LORD, forgive me for my sinful hatred which makes me a murderer.