We hear about murder daily on the news it seems. This commandment appears so easy to follow, one we may often brush aside, believing we don’t really have to worry about it since we surely won’t ever take the life of another human being. But there is more to this commandment than just killing a person to their death. This scripture includes the killing of others physically, emotionally, passively, and spiritually.
A person is guilty of physical murder when they commit a homicide, suicide, or are involved in an abortion. In the year 2010 in the United Sates alone, 12,996 homicides were committed, 38,364 suicides were executed, and more than 1.2 million abortions were performed. These are the numbers of lost American lives. Killing people physically is the most understood part of this commandment but yet it happens all too frequently. As Christians, we are commanded to not support murder of any kind. There is NO justification in the killing of innocent lives.
Emotional murder is speaking out against another person with hateful words. James 4:11 says this, “Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.” We need to be careful not to use people or diminish them. We may not even be aware that our words hurt others and must ask the Holy Spirit to reveal these times to us. Our focus should be to love others continually and extend grace. We must be sincere and active-minded towards others, acknowledging their achievements and giving gratitude and thanks in all circumstances.
We commit passive murder when we fail to meet the needs of others. This type of murder encompasses many forms including seeing a homeless person and failing to share food and hope, seeing a person struggling to walk and not giving them a helping hand, seeing a child or adult in an abusive situation and not contacting authorities. When we receive the eternal gift of salvation, we are also given the gift of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit prompts us to take action and we fail to do so, we commit passive murder. We must be attentive and seek every opportunity to help others in need.
As believers in Christ Jesus, we should be sure we are also meeting the spiritual needs of others. In Acts 20:27, Luke writes, “For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.” We are commanded to share the gospel to everyone and always seeking to share the gift of eternal life. Nobody should be damned to eternal life in hell. Someone took the time to share the gospel with you and saved your soul, we should have the same spirit of giving and an overwhelming desire to see others come to know Christ as their personal Savior. How sad will it be when we come face to face with our God and we see missed opportunities? We serve a God of forgiveness and second chances. Someone gave you that second chance and hope for your future, we must share the same hope to others.
A person is NOT guilty of murder when they are defending our nation in war or when capital punishment is being enforced. Romans 13:1 says this, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” Government is a mandate of God and God has given society the governing authority over its people. Our government protects the people from the hands of those who seek evil. Righteous war that is ordained by God will have exhausted all peaceful measures first and will have been appointed by appropriate authorities. Righteous war is fought with good intentions for all mankind and has a reasonable expectation to succeed. Righteous war combats against those doing evil and, if possible, avoiding the death of innocent civilians. Righteous war must have the ultimate goal of establishing peace. The Bible is very clear about making peace with our enemies but it also gives grounds for war to protect the kingdom of God here on earth.
How sad it is that sometimes we commit murder and never even realize it? How many opportunities have we missed to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ because we failed to meet the needs of others or share the gospel? How many times have our words or actions (and sometimes lack of actions) caused a slow and painful death to someone else? We should all desire to align ourselves with scripture and submit to His obedience. We have the Truth in our hands and we are commanded to obey His word. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 7:10, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” We are all guilty of murder and we must all repent and lead a life that’s pleasing and honoring to our Heavenly Father.