One of my favorite reality TV shows documents the first 48 hours of investigation after a murder occurs. The show was filmed in Phoenix, AZ for a season or two, and I remember reading about some of the murders in our local paper. People are murdered for all sorts of reasons, and it is never for a just cause or for the benefit of anyone other than the one committing the crime. The sin of murder is a terrible thing and something God hates. I am detested at some of the reasons given by these offenders, but am I without guilt?
We think of murder as the physical act of taking someone's life, but the physical act is an act that has been played out in the mind until the action is committed. The premediatated thought of murder could be just a split second, or repeated and prolonged thoughts of anger, malice, and hate that last a lifetime. I John 3:15 states, "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." I am convicted by this verse as I am guilty of murder and it would not take 48 hours to charge me with such. Some may be looking to call 9-1-1 to report me at this time, but please let me explain. I have held onto hate in my heart for those God has created in His image. Hate for those I despised and those who have wronged me. Hate for those who did not allow me to get my own way, and those who stood in the way of me getting what I thought I really wanted. By God's definition, I am just as guilty as one who has been tried by a jury of their peers on the charge of murder. Guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt in God's court, and God looks at me guilty just as I looked at those on that television show. We often use our earthly laws to define what is right and wrong, but God's standard is always higher and the one we should follow.
I would rather not further incriminate myself by going into any elaborate details of my hateful thoughts, but I confess to you that I am guilty. I shamefully bow my head and admit my guilt and ask forgiveness from Almighty God, a God who has shown me amazing love while I, ironically, choose to hate the very ones He died for. We can compare ourselves to one another and come out looking good, but it is God's standard that we are to use. God's solution for hate was to love us, and for us to love one another. I John 3:11-12 states, "For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore (why) slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous."
It did not take long in the course of human history for mankind to despise the life of another. Murder took place in the second generation and was caused by the malice of one brother towards another. Cain was jealous of Abel because Abel did right in the sight of God and Cain chose to do evil. It was not a generational curse or a "problem" of society, but a choice that Cain made. Cain was supposed to love his younger brother, but his evil, wicked thoughts quickly turned into evil actions.
What are you thinking about? Do you have evil thoughts towards someone? Do you have evil thoughts about people in government because you disagree with their actions or politics? Do you hate your brother or sister in Christ? Do you sit in your seat on Sunday and look across the room hoping not see your "enemy"? Do you have love for other Christians or do you pick and choose whom you will love? Do you obey the message from the beginning that we should love one another, or do you preach your own message? Are you guilty of murder? Do you have hate in your heart towards someone? May we learn to love one another like He loves us. John 3:16 states, " For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." May we rid ourselves of the hate in our hearts, and may we love like the One who loves us perfectly and eternally.
Stay in the fight!