The first recorded murder was of Abel by his brother Cain.
Can you imagine how caught up in his own head, filled with so much anger and hurt he must have been to lure his brother to a field and kill him?
Murder, the bible reminds us is not only with stone and blood, but also with our words, our looks, our thoughts, our comments. Murder also is not being encouraging, not supporting, not showing love when love is needed. Killing others in our thoughts and words, by what we say and don’t say, as much as with our actions.
Why do we do this? Why did Cain? We get caught up in our own heads, we make something seem so important, so big, that we choose to react in ways that kill the people we feel are at fault, that we resent, that we don’t like.
But by withholding our kindness and actively hurting others, many of whom are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and many who don’t know God yet, are we any better than Cain who killed his brother? In this life, words can cut just as deeply as a knife, and withholding kindness can hurt just as much as slapping them in the face. Sin is waiting for us to give it an opportunity to sneak into our life.
Remember when this temptation comes your way, that one murder that was done on a cross, that killed our savior, who died for all of the ways we sinfully murder others, in our own thoughts, words and actions. Jesus died so we don’t have to live that way anymore.
Instead of snide remarks, give encouragement, instead of disagreement, give mercy, instead of hurtful thoughts, give your thoughts over to God. It’s okay to die to ourselves and our hurtful thoughts to give the kind of love that Jesus gave to us on the cross.