Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
- Ephesians 4:31-32
"You shall not murder." If ever there was one of the Ten Commandments that was ignored, it was this one. This commandment forbids the taking of another human life for no justifiable reason. Yet we live in a violent world. Our culture is awash in violence and killing. Two million people a year become violent crime statistics in the United States.
You might be feeling okay about yourself because at least, to your knowledge, you have never murdered anyone. But Jesus took this command a step further in the Sermon on the Mount:
"You have heard that our ancestors were told, 'You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.' But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell." (Matthew 5:21–22)
Jesus was talking about a person who has anger and hatred toward another person. He was saying, "I am not just telling you it is wrong to murder; I am saying it is wrong to hate."
Is there anyone you hate? If a certain person were to walk into a room where you happened to be, would your blood pressure go up? Honestly, do you wish that person were dead? Then you need to repent because that is a sin.
Sometimes we will say of someone, "I would never kill them." But we will assassinate their character. The Bible tells us, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior" (Ephesians 4:31).
We as believers are not to hate. Rather, we are to love our enemies.
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