Life is precious.
This is a sentiment that few people would genuinely argue with. Even with the various activities that suggest otherwise.
According to scripture, the first thing that went wrong with the perfection of creation was a murder. For in the day the seduction of sin took place, life was taken. Then what was taken from the garden was mirrored after the garden when a brother killed a brother. The picture is tragic and there’s little since then that has done much to improve things.
No surprise then, that the unlawful taking of a life is treated with the utmost seriousness.
Jesus reinforces the seriousness by suggesting that murder is not just about a dead body. It’s a Matter Of The Heart.
What is it in the human heart that leads it to erupt in rage against someone else. This is why there’s a saying ‘if looks could kill’, for there is a pose and posture that turns people to ashes. That look is not just a physical thing – there is more going on deeper within. That anger that lurks within can poison relationships and in its way poison lives.
What’s going on when there’s anger? What are the intentions and desires to the target of the anger? Is it for their betterment? Unlikely. It’s likely to be something a lot worse. For those who suffer short bursts of rage it can quickly be done with, but the damage to others can take longer to get over. There is the matter of the heart at the heart of dealing with what’s going on inside and what comes out of mouths well before any actual physical harm is done.
Disciples of Jesus don’t look to make war, they look to make peace. So rather than aggression and murderous intent from the heart, there’s a greater desire within to reconcile and reach a settlement. Choosing to keep the anger and see it through the bitter end, will truly just be that – a bitter end.
Why work towards the bitter end from the heart, when as much as it’s possible with you peace can be made from the heart?
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden