THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT
You shall not kill.
When I learned this commandment at an young age I thought – here’s one I can keep. A lot of folks think that way. The average Joe doesn’t go around slaying people. What I didn’t think about was that we sin against this command every time we have hatred or malice towards one another. When the thought enters our brain and seeps into the depths of our hearts, we are actually committing murder in the first degree.
I watched an old movie last night called, “A Place in the Sun,” starring Elizabeth Taylor, Shelly Winters and Montgomery Clift. The story unfolds as a young man is faced with the dilemma of what to do about a girl he’s impregnated now that he’s fallen for another who will further his career. As the story proceeds, we almost feel sorry for the guy, because he’s accused of killing the pregnant girlfriend without any real proof that he did. I found the story interesting, because as he spoke with a visiting clergyman, he was asked to examine his heart and see if his intentions were to kill her. The movie ended with him dramatically walking towards the electric chair and his ultimate punishment. We don’t see movies like that today. Thesimple thought of killing another is, in God’s eyes, enough to convict us, but we rarely hear about that anymore.
In our world today, we hear about homicides on a daily basis. The numbers seem to be increasing. The shattered mind of someone who thinks that killing people will solve his own insecurities – the catatonic thinking of those who have been numbed by the evil one – the drastic attempts taken by one desperate to change the outcome of his mistakes- all have one thing in common. They have not learned the value of every life that has been created by God.
If this commandment was enforced, we wouldn’t stand a chance of seeing heaven. I thought I was free and clear until my then 4 year old grandson condemned me of killing a living thing when I stomped on an ant.
The truth is, we disobey this commandment many times each day without even thinking about it. When we have negative thoughts about another person – when we say things like, “I wish he were dead,” – when we seek revenge or speak badly about someone who has hurt us in some way. Whenever there is a lack of respect of life or a need to retaliate, we fall short of this commandment.
Abortion or euthanasia are obvious ways of snuffing out the breath of another, but when the value of life is regarded as unimportant, it seems to take no thought at all to take a life. We really need to instill the respect for all living things into our children’s thinking from little on. Teach them to love – not hate. Teach them to be patient and understanding with others even when they’ve been hurt by them. Teach them to pray for those things. Be an example by showing respect for the lives of others yourself. When they begin school they will be filled with new ways of thinking. Prepare them to stand against the world, because Jesus has already conquered it.
As with every one of God’s commandments, we should take them seriously. It’s obvious that we are incapable of keeping them because we’re all sinful. We fall short on every one. Thankfully our God has provided a Savior for us.