“The simple moral fact is that words kill.”
-Translation from The Message
This week the focus text for preaching is on murder. When I first thought about that it seemed pretty simple, don’t do it. Of course like most things that Jesus tells us the command has a deeper context than what the words simply say.
When Jesus talks about what it means to murder, he’s talking about more than just our physical selves. What are the other ways that one can be murdered? It is often through words, through actions that leave others defeated or on the outside, it’s holding a grudge not being right with others.
While all of this seems pretty clear, that we should not kill and that includes being kind in our language and interactions with others, it’s the solutions he offers that might be our biggest obstacle. God will not withhold judgement for things that might seem small to us, skirmishes that are never corrected, slandering another who you simply disagree, offering gifts at the altar before practicing reconciliation. Words hold a lot of power and so does God. Let’s look carefully at how we choose our words and how we come before God when seeking mercy and grace.