A Murderer at Heart

Matthew 5:21–22

Have you ever hated anyone? Have you ever hated anyone so much that you wished they were dead? If you are thinking, Oh, no-not me, then allow me to rephrase the question: Have you ever driven on a freeway? If we were honest, we all would probably admit to having a strong dislike for certain people at one time or another in our lives-people who, if they were to walk into the room, would make our blood begin to boil.

But the Bible tells us, "Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don't have eternal life within them" (1 John 3:15). We know that murder is a sin before God. But God says that if we hate another person, then we are committing a sin as well.

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In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was referring to the Ten Commandments when He said, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.' But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment . . . " (Matthew 5:21–22).

We can feel good about not murdering, but have we ever hated anyone? 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). The Bible teaches that we are to love, not hate, our enemies (see Matthew 5:44).

We are all sinners. We have all broken God's commandments in some way, shape, or form. We all need God's forgiveness. And God offers it graciously and lovingly-if we will come to Him.

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