That surely sounds like a ridiculous question, but it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about—the people I kill. Of course, this is not a murder confession, not in the flesh at least. However, I’ve done things that kill people inwardly, and as the teachings of Jesus show, this counts as murder in his book.
When we use our words to cut people down, even if we think they deserve it, what parts of them are we killing? Are we killing their self-worth, their ability to trust, their ability to love? Are we killing their faith in God?
When we work to gather possessions yet we do not take the time to care for the needy, are we not killing them also?
When we perpetuate half-truths about the gospel or make lite of sin instead of showing the world that through Jesus there is a way out, are we not trapping people in sins and death? On the flip side, when we condemn whatever measure of faith someone has as not being “full,” are we at risk of weakening their faith or killing it?
When we take vengeance into our own hands because we forget that the Lord our God is in control of all things, will we act compassionately and with righteous judgment and mercy, or will we justify acting harshly or hatefully? Will we excuse ourselves for committing spiritual murder?
The root of all sin is death, and when we really consider this, I think it is an evident fact. Take some time to consider it. How might hate, pride, vanity, lust, greed, lying, and all the like kill people around us? Anything that we consider sin has some negative affect that brings death, and as a just God, that is why the punishment for sin is death. Who can escape this? The answer is none. Not without Jesus.
As Christians, we are to be followers of Jesus, and what is Jesus if not life?
Of course, Jesus is God, and as God, he is so much more than a definition of a single word. Even so, if we are to follow him, the only killing we should be doing is dying to this world as we trust the Lord to continue working on us so that we are made free from all things that bring death.
I want to be free from death. I want to be free from doing things that kill people inwardly. Instead of killing, I want to be someone who brings life as a living example of Jesus in this world. That is what it means to be a Christian, and I look forward to seeing that work done in me. That is salvation. That is the gospel of the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
I know I quote Isaiah a lot, but there is so much I think we can learn from these writings, as all scripture. I just have a fondness for Isaiah. So, for some parting thoughts, consider reading Isaiah 1. Here are verses 15-20:
And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
I am so thankful for the mercy of the Lord because without that we would all be tried and found guilty of murder, and the death penalty would be our reward. The forgiveness of the cross is an unspeakable gift, and there is nothing we can do to earn it. However, we can honor it by seeking Jesus to heal our hearts so that we do not continue to destroy people.
We love him don’t we? We want to be good and faithful servants and wise virgins with full lamps, right? Today and every day is the day of salvation. Each day is a new chance to continue onward and upward in the things of God with faith that the blood of Jesus is sufficient to forgive AND his Holy Spirit is powerful enough to heal us—even raise us from the dead—presently and eternally. There will come a day of the Lord’s vengeance, and I don’t know exactly what that will mean for Christians, however, sufficient to the day is the evil thereof. Today, we are to walk in the mercy of the Lord and faith in the power and promise of freedom from sin and death.
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The idea of killing people a little bit with our words and attitudes was pointed out to me almost twenty years ago, when a coworker said that my “little jokes” at the expense of others was a form of hatred. At the time I disagreed with him, but thinking it over I realized just how many comments I was making, followed by, “just kidding.” I began to wonder if I really was just kidding, or if there was a part of me that really felt this way (critical, insulting) toward others. Since then I’ve made a conscious effort, with prayer, to keep my tongue from those critical or slightly insulting comments, even if I’m “only kidding.” Our words and demeanor toward others really can have a profound impact on their self-perceptions and even their feelings of being loved by God. I don’t ever want to crush someone else who needs encouragement, and this post is a good reminder. Thanks!
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Thanks for sharing that story about your life! Very relatable. Its something I strive to improve upon, with the Lords help of course.