” Thou shalt not kill.” (Exodus 20:13).
In a broader sense, what is it to kill? Why not kill? This verse of 4 words teaches us much more than we think. Most often, we limit the meaning of the verb “kill” to “take away life” but in reality, it goes beyond this meaning.
How to Understand the Sense of the Biblical Passage: ” Thou Shalt Not Kill “?
Indeed, “Thou shalt not kill ” takes into account: any injustice tending to shorten life; any spirit of hatred or revenge; all anger that leads to actions prejudicial to the neighbor or even to desire him harm – for ” whoever hates his brother is a murderer ” – any egoism that neglects the care of the needy and the sick, all these things constitute, to varying degrees, violations of the Sixth Commandment.
The sixth commandment is given to us to get away from all that is animosity, malice, insults, hatred, insults, outrages, and killings (murders, assassinations, crimes …). We were given to promote peace, harmony, fulfillment, and respect for human life … For the Creator, God who is the source of life knows the value of human life. Therefore, in governing the relations between men, he gave this commandment to humanity: ” you shall not kill.”
Human Life Is Sacred
By this commandment, we are called not to let ourselves be dominated by evil … It is also a remedy for overcoming evil and making our human relations pleasant.
This commandment ” Thou shalt not kill ” also teaches us that life is sacred so we must not destroy it either by our way of life (food, drink, tobacco …) or by our conduct (use our forces negatively, our energies, our organisms …). It is a call to know how to take care of our whole life (our body, our soul, our spirit) so as not to destroy us. On the other hand, the sixth commandment of God forbids anyone to abuse others and to take life away from others … We must respect human life. Every man has the right to peace, security, life. This is what the commandment teaches us: ” Thou shalt not kill. “
The Remedy for Braking Evil
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. ” (Romans 12:21).
Many people, of course, know the appropriate solution to the problems of human relations: if people were nice to us, we would have no trouble being nice in our turn. Is this ideal? Jesus teaches us the ideal.
Let us hear what the Bible tells us in the following passages: ” You have heard that it has been said,” Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. ” But I say to you, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, so that you may be the son of your father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and it rains upon the just and the unjust. If you love those who love you, what reward do you deserve? Do not publicans act the same? And, if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing extraordinary? Do pagans not act the same? ” (Matthew 5: 43-47).
Have you read and understood the meaning of Jesus’ teachings? Do you see the link with the commandment “thou shalt not kill “? In effect, we see the remedy for overcoming evil in Jesus’ words. If we avoid hatred, let us practice mutual forgiveness, accept our differences, ban hatred, show mutual love, and seek the best interests of all – so we can avoid breaking the Sixth Commandment.
The real question is: can you be good to someone who has been mean to you? Can you really love someone who has wronged you? It is not easy. In fact, some people think that Jesus’ teachings on the sixth commandment are an extreme example, which was not given to be obeyed, except by some saints who live somewhere on a mountain. In other words, according to them, Jesus’ teaching on this issue cannot literally be applied by people who live in the real world like us. In the following paragraph, we will use the comments of theologian Loron Wade about it.
The Teaching of Jesus in Connection with Exodus 20: 13
There are three important reasons why the wisdom of Jesus is much more than a fantasy. It’s actually the only practical and sensible way to live.
(1) – This is the only way to break the chain of violence.
Jesus’ plan for the application of the divine command ” Thou shalt not kill ” is the best because the only alternative is the ripple effect, an endless chain of retaliation for justice. ” Eye for eye, tooth for a tooth “. This plan is a recipe for disaster because violence cannot be eradicated by more violence.
However, this principle does not apply only to family quarrels and suicide bombings; this is also true when it comes to ‘small violence’. The naughty words and the foul talk we sometimes make. Someone must make the decision to break the chain of violence, swallow his pride and hide the offense. And Jesus asks his disciples to be that man.
Silent violence such as mistreatment in silence, turning one’s back on a person, or pouting is no less destructive than cries. Whatever form it takes the unfriendly or naughty behavior can only generate more malice.
(2) – It’s the only way to control yourself
Second, when we respond to an evil act with anger, hatred, and a desire for revenge, we lose control over someone else. We let them control us and determine our feelings, attitudes, and reactions. Jesus wants to free us from this tyranny and restore our autonomy with peace of mind.
Until we make the difficult decision to do that, we react but do not act. A behavior marked by the reaction (opposed to the action) places us under the domination of the cruel and unthinking people who did not behave well towards us.
The method of Jesus allows us to tell each other: “You cannot make me hate. I refuse to let you make my life bitter. I am not willing to spend my days gnawed by anger. “
In most cases, the behavior dominated by the reaction is a weapon in a struggle for power, always brandished in order to dominate the other. […].
(3) – This is the only way to act responsibly.
In saying this, we must not allow our enemies to determine our behavior and attitudes. Jesus reminds us once again of our responsibility. If we make anger out of anger, malice for wickedness, it is our own decision to do it because the power to choose is in us.
We like to justify the behavior marked by the reaction by blaming the other. We feel better when we cast guilt on others around us. Here are the words we like to say: “I’m doing this because of the guy in the next alcove. »,« I am susceptible because I look like my grandmother (it is from her that I hold my fiery temperament) », or any other justification.
We cannot choose our parents or the way they educate us. And in most cases, we cannot choose our associates either. The circumstances of life put us together, and we stay in touch with others. By making us responsible for our actions, Jesus wants us to accept our responsibility and stop justifying our bad behavior by pointing our finger at each other. […]
Conclusion on the Theme: ” Thou Shalt Not Kill”.
There is certainly much to say about the commandment ” Thou shalt not kill”. But at the end of our article on this subject, we must understand that this commandment is a commandment of love; just as the nine others are too. At the end of our article, it would be nice to remember this: To truly love our enemies and to do good to those who are unkind is the strongest and most noble expression of assertive behavior. And it puts us in a strong position because that means we refuse to play their game and go down to their level. Instead of being defeated, we are the ones who defeat them. (Read Luke 6: 27-28, Romans 12: 20-21). To be truly assertive in Christian relationships means more than to stop hating. He asks us to replace hatred with love.
Let us conclude our study on the commandment ” Thou shalt not kill ” by concluding with the notion of forgiveness. As you read this blog, I would like you to consider these statements: True forgiveness is only possible when we are deeply aware of the depth of forgiveness we have received. When we see ourselves as forgiven sinners, our arrogance against the people who have been mean to us disappears. Then we begin to see those people who have wronged us as companions in the journey of life, individuals like us, who are also struggling against the power of evil. Only then does compassion begin to take the place of hatred and true forgiveness begins to flow. There are no other ways.