“You shall not murder.” – Exodus 20:13
Q: What is the sixth commandment?
A: You shall not murder.
What does this mean?
Because we worship and love God, we shouldn’t hurt or harm other people, but instead we should help them like a friend would.
Do you know what a practical joke is? A practical joke is where someone tricks you and tries to make you look foolish for the sake of amusing themselves and/or others. Maybe someone sneaks up behind you with a water balloon and throws it at you. One good one is when you get a can of shaving cream and spray some of that into the hand of someone who is sleeping. Then you tickle their nose very lightly and when they reach up to itch their nose they spread the shaving cream all over their face. It’s pretty funny if you can pull it off, but be prepared for some revenge!
Do you know what revenge is? It’s what we call, “getting someone back”. When it comes to a practical joke, revenge can be a fun thing, but when it comes to murder, revenge is very bad thing.
In our world today, revenge is a huge problem that plagues many communities around the world. If someone murders someone else out of anger, the family members, or those close to the murdered person want to “get back at” the murderer so they try and kill him. Then the friends and family want to seek revenge for that murder. Can you see how this would just continually go back and forth? The cycle of revenge never gets broken. Someone is always trying to “get back” at someone else if people continue to murder.
God has a better solution. We read about it in the book of Romans.
Read Romans 12:17–21:
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
- How are we to treat those who mistreat us?
- Why do we not need to “take matters into our own hands”? Does God care about justice?
- How are we to overcome evil?
Our Father, help us to trust you when we feel wronged. Give us the power to love our enemies like you loved us when we were your enemies. Father, forgive our enemies, because they don’t know what they are doing. Would you save them and cause them to repent of their sin? In Jesus name, Amen.