Living positive side of Sixth Commandment


Our focus the past few weeks has been on Mount Sinai, the place where God delivered the Ten Commandments to Moses.

Today, I want to shift to a sermon that was spoken on another mountain, where Jesus made a much broader application of the Sixth Commandment than anyone could have expected.

From “You shall not murder,” Jesus took it to the extreme. “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment. If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” (Matthew 5:21-22)

Jesus moved from the fruit of murder to the root of murder.

This is about more than an occasional flare-up of anger. He is referring to a simmering anger on the inside that is nurtured and not allowed to die. It is the idea of holding a grudge that leads to resentment and refuses reconciliation.

Hebrews 12:15 cautions us, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

Anger in the heart has a way of creeping out through our words. The Proverbs 12:18 writer said, “Reckless words pierce like a sword … ” (12:18)

People often commit verbal assassination by the words they speak. But according to Jesus, anger and hatred in your heart is comparable to murder and a violation of the Sixth Commandment.

While most of us will never murder someone in the technical sense of the word, you can see how this commandment can be broken in any number of ways.

We know we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves. One way to do that is by treating all life as sacred. We do so because we were created in the image of God. Since people matter to God, they must matter to us.

Let’s think about how we can live out the positive implications of the Sixth Commandment. It is fundamentally about how we view and treat people.

Because we do live in a culture of death, we must cultivate a biblical perspective when it comes to the sanctity of all human life. Not only are we prohibited from taking life, we also must be careful to preserve and protect it. We must learn to value life the way God does.

You may read Steve Greene’s blog at or you can email him at [email protected].

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