Read Exodus 20:13
“You shall not murder!”
Wow, you can’t get any plainer than that! Don’t murder, take someone’s else’s life, stab, jab, shoot…murder!
You might be thinking “I could never do that!” That’s good, and I think it’s safe to say that not many of us struggle with identifying murder as wrong and have not committed it in the past.
However, do you commit murder without even knowing it?
We kill other people’s spirits, reputations, faith, all the time without even giving it a second thought.
As I am writing this, there is a news report on TV about false stories that were published about a man. Now he has to try to prove they were false, if he wants to get his life back, while the person who started the rumors will go on to destroy other people’s lives! They just destroyed a person’s reputation. Isn’t THAT murder?
What if it happened to a less wealthy person who couldn’t afford lawyers? What if they would have been so distraught that they committed suicide or decided “What is the use?” and turned to a life of drinking or other harmful behaviors?
Isn’t THAT murder too?
Gossip hurts and sometimes kills.
How about your words? How about the way you talk to people or about them? Do you use your words to encourage others? Maybe a struggling single parent or a confused teen? Or do you choose to criticize the way they look or speak or act? What about the person who might be less well educated than you and uses “poor English”? Do you look down on them, tune them out, KILL their ideas? Treat them like they don’t exist?
Thou shall not kill!
Thou shall not tramp on spirits, kill thoughts, destroy reputations, make fun of, ignore, etc.
It is so easy to listen to or join in on a gossip session, to join in with people who love to cut down others, to talk about someone else’s parenting skills or children. But remember their claws can easily be turned on you when you are not around.
I enjoy watching murder mystery shows on TV. It is fun playing detective and see if I can figure out “who did it” and why. I have found that almost always the true motives of the criminals were jealousy, greed, or fear that their other crimes will be exposed. Plus, there is usually a person or several persons who could have stopped it.
So, when you find yourself in the middle of a gossip session or hearing of someone being slandered, take a step back, put on your detective hat and ask:
1) Who is being murdered?
2) What is the motive? Greed, jealousy or fear etc.
3) What can I do to stop it?
“Do not go about spreading slander among your people.”
Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life.
THOU SHALL NOT KILL!
I pray the murderer isn’t you!