The Loudmouth Protestant

September 16, 2008

Have You Killed Anyone Lately

This morning, during my quiet time, I was reading David DeSilva’s “The Sacramental Life: Spiritual Formation through the Book of Common Prayer.” The book is essentially about how to use  the “Book of Common Prayer” as a deeper part of your devotion by exploring the sacraments and how to live those sacraments on a daily basis. I’ve gone through the sacrament of baptism which helps us to walk in the newness of life once we are cleansed in those waters and am now in the sacrament of the Eucharist which gives us the nourishment to walk in the newness of life. But something I read today gave me pause and really convicted me, so I thought I would share it today. It’s a rethinking of the sixth commandment, “Thou shall not murder.”

The author posits that we cannot so quicky skip over this commandment just because we haven’t physically killed someone. He challenges us to take time time to examine ourselves to see if we haven’t killed our brothers and sisters in another way. DeSilva says,

“Murder is only the end result, the extreme manifestation, of many little ways in which we “kill” our fellow human beings. We murder their wills with our anger when they counter our own. We assault their self-esteem and reputation when we speak words that diminish them, killing them by inches. Who can now walk away from the sixth commandment acquitted?”

That excerpt was deep beyond words because if I were to honest, I must kill people a few times a week and the methods with which I do it far exceeds what DeSilva explains. We can people through our thoughts, we can kill them in the words we say, the little things we say which are like poison, and even the way we look at someone else, the look of judging, the look of scorn, indignation, superiority, etc. We are guilty of killing our brothers and sisters everyday and that scares me.

I have nothing more to say, it’s just my thought for the beginning of the day. I must depart now and pray that I will not walk out of my house wielding any weapon that will shed my brother and sisters blood.

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3 Comments »

  1. Quite profound and a great thought for the day. Well done!

    Comment by HonestChitChat — September 16, 2008 @ 9:41 am | Reply

  2. I was just reading Richard Wright’s Native Son, where the main character, Bigger, ends up on trial for the (accidental) murder of Ms. Dalton, daughter of a wealthy rich white famly. Interestingly, though Bigger, a black youth, had accidentally killed her, he accepted the gruesome label of “murderer.” Why? Because he knew that long before he had met Ms. Dalton, he had kiled her—and all those around him—through his thoughts. The oppression of being a black man in the “Black Belt” in 1930’s Chicago ghetto took its toll on all who lived there. But it is interesting how his mental acceptance of cerebral crucifixtion of not only his enemies, but his family and friends, made him ultimately accept his fate in the end.

    Thank you for reminding me of two things: that life and death is in the power of the tongue; and thought we are dwell on those things that are good, holy, pure, and righteous. The alternative in accepting the prince of this world and his mentality will only lead to our ultimate demise.

    Comment by missify — September 16, 2008 @ 5:56 pm | Reply

  3. Great thought, thanks.
    I’ve just reviewed this book at http://www.liturgy.co.nz/blog/sacramental-life/165

    Comment by Bosco Peters — November 6, 2008 @ 7:32 pm | Reply


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