Friday, July 1, 2016

Ten Commandments: Do Not Commit Murder

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Quote: "When angry, count to ten before you speak; if very angry, count to a hundred." --Thomas Jefferson
"Do not murder" (Exodus 20:13 NLT). "Thou shalt not kill" (KJV)
The major emphasis in this command is that life is a gift of God and is to be guarded carefully. "Murder" is the correct translation of the original language, and this command does not include capital punishment, self-defense, or war that are permitted in Scripture. God's law included capital punishment. "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God He made man" (Genesis 9:6 NIV). In each book of Moses, the shedding of innocent blood is grounds for capital punishment under certain conditions.
The roots of murder begin in the heart and mind. By the time a child grows up in America, he/she will have witnessed thousands of murders/violent acts on TV, video games, or computer screen. Our culture is becoming more and more tolerant of violence and killing. For some, killing has become passionless and cold often with no sense of remorse.
Before you say "I would never murder another person," you might want to hear some words from Jesus: "You have heard that is was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell" (Matthew 5:21-22 NIV). Murder begins in the heart. In anger, have you ever wished someone were dead? When, in anger, I call someone a "fool," I have declared him worthless and decided he doesn't deserve to live.
So, if anger causes people to murder, controlling our anger is key. "In your anger, do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold" (Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV). Never forget, Satan wants to see disaster in your life. "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (I Peter 5:8 NIV). We become angry when we are hurt by someone's actions; or when we are impatient; or when we are selfish. Such anger can, and has, led many to violate this command.
You can avoid violating God's sanctity of life directive by taking your hurts, frustrations, impatience, and anger to the Lord. It's impossible to remain angry with someone while engaged in sincere prayer for that person. Just say, "Lord, I'm going to need some help with this." God stands ready to help, and right now is a good time to turn these feelings over to the Lord and ask for his forgiveness and strength.
One final thought: Parents watch your children closely for signs of strong aggressive behavior; infatuation with weapons; cruelty to others and animals; temper tantrums; signs of building anger. These can be warning signs of serious problems to come.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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