Is saying mean things really murder?
Suggested Daily Reading: James 3
While words do not physically kill someone, they can “kill” a person’s reputation. When we slander or gossip, we attack another person. Bullying, cruel teasing, mocking and using words to degrade another are forms of “murder” as well. When doing so, we aim to kill a person’s sense of worth and respect. Using words in these types of harmful ways stem from the same motivations as murder.
Never degrade or mock others. God has created each person unique. Each human being is of eternal importance. Disrespectful expressions regarding gender, race, intelligence or status are sinful. Remember that every talent and ability we have is a gift from God. If God blessed you with more innate intelligence, health, strength or coordination than another, this is not your doing. Why then should you act as if you are superior? If you mock another person, you are not only insulting this person, but also his or her Maker. Think about this. If you laughed at a painting and made fun of it, would this not deeply insult the artist who painted it?
Mean, hurtful, killing words are often expressed when we become angry. Therefore we all must pray and work to control our tempers. Uncontrolled anger is often destructive; if not physically, then mentally and emotionally. When angry, our language often becomes abusive. The Lord instructs us, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city” (Proverbs 16:32).
Read that which James writes about the tongue in the suggested reading for this meditation. The gift of language is a special gift of God. It is one of the traits that distinguish us from animals. It is one of the ways in which we can reflect something of God, of His image. But we can use words in heavenly or in hellish ways. We can use words in Christ-like ways, speaking truthfully, lovingly, tenderly, caring for the good of others. Or we can use words in Satan-like ways of speaking in untruthful, hateful, and harmful ways to destroy others.
Pray, strive and develop your ability, habits and character to speak more in a Christian manner and less in an evil way.
Read Matthew 5:21-22. How is Jesus seriously warning us in these verses about controlling our anger and not using cruel words? Why do you think Jesus and James use such strong language when teaching and warning us about the words we use? Do you regard your words with such importance?
What makes human beings different from cats or monkeys? If people believe that there is no God and human beings are only evolutionary animals, then what is wrong with deciding to put some to sleep when they become old or sick? Is the death of the body of a human person on earth, the death of the person’s existence? Why is the death of a person different from that of an animal?