I’ve never killed anyone.
Or have I?
The fifth commandment very clearly states,
Thou shall not Kill.
It seems simple enough. As long as I don’t put a gun to someone and pull the trigger, hold a knife to the throat of another, push someone in front of a moving train, I’ve got that commandment covered, right? Piece of cake. Dust my hands off. Check that commandment off the list, and move on to the next one: Thou shall not commit adultery
– or can I check it off? Have I killed?
Sometimes we oversimplify things. Yes, the commandment says, “Thou shall not kill,” but what does that really mean?
Do we think the Lord meant thou shall not kill physically in a Cain and Abel sort of way?
Did the Lord say, “Well, as long as their blood is not crying up to me from the ground, all is good?”
We know the Lord, Father of all, hears our mourning and weeping. The prayer, Hail Holy Queen, refers to God’s children as, “mourning and weeping in the valley of tears.” That mourning and weeping comes from the pain and suffering we endure on this earth, separated from the utopia God wants for us. That suffering comes from the loss of a loved one, from physical pain we endure and see in others, and from confusion and fear of the unknown, but it comes from other places too.
That suffering comes from a source that can be prevented if we give it the attention we are called to and don’t make excuses – our thoughts and words.
Words are often the precursor to physical blows in domestic violence. Verbal bullying in schools leads to assault, vengeance, and suicide. Wounds caused by words can be more damaging, harder to identify, longer lasting, and more difficult to prevent than physical wounds.
We speak harshly to our children and our spouses. We mock the stranger in the grocery store and the friend we bump into at the bank. We are often unconscious of how often our words can harm another, but words are very powerful.
In so many instances, words cause death. Words, intentional or unintentional, can cause a chipping away at self-worth, a loss of who the target was meant to be, the death of the person’s spirit.
When that happens there is a death. We become responsible for killing a piece of the soul of another human being, another child of God. When we kill the soul of another, we inflict pain on them that can tempt to sin by turning from God.
But anyone who is the downfall of one of these little ones who have faith in me would be better drowned in the depths of the sea with a great millstone round his neck.
Mark and Luke have similar verses. Remember, to the Father, we are all His children. He loves even those we find most unlovable. It is very clear that when we use our words to hurt another, we will be held responsible.
The 10 Commandments tell us, “Thou shall not kill.” I know I have broken this commandment many times. Thank the Lord for His forgiveness and the strength to help me hold my tongue next time.
Thou shall not kill. It means more than a physical death. Hold yourself to a higher standard.
Have you witnessed this killing of another? How do you protect those around you from falling victim to this death? How do you protect yourself when someone tries to kill a piece of you?