” But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgement. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister ‘ Raca ‘ is answerable to court. And anyone who says ‘ You fool! ‘ will be in danger of the fire of hell”. — Matt 5:22
What powerful words. It was until recently, after going over this passage that I actually read the words and let them soak in. I always thought, as most people probably do, especially in the secular world, that ” Murder ” according to the Ten Commandments, meant, well….MURDER. The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another. But as we read in Matthew, it is so much more than that. Simply being angry with someone is considered murderous. Or by disrespecting someone with vile words. Jesus says in Matthew Chapter 15:18-19
” But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts–murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. “
Our words are murder! When I realized this simple truth, I immediately changed how I use my words. Let us try to speak encouraging and uplifting words, rather than insults and tearing people down. With our words we can change the course of a friend or family member’s day. We can change moods and drive away sadness.
I have worked in a couple of trades that are notorious for bad language and vulgarity. And I have been desensitized over the years. It is so easy to join the others and swear or insult, as to not be left out of the circle. But let us stand out of the crowd. Be noticed. A friend of mine said, “In a group of swearing people, they won’t notice if you swear. They will notice if you don’t. What is considered swearing? I think there is swearing – taking the Lord’s name in vain, and there is swearing – using vile or vulgar words. I do believe that taking the Lord’s name in vain is in the murderous category, but not using vulgar words. But we can still be set apart from other men by not using these vulgar words. Even if they aren’t considered as ” murder ” they are still used in a vile manner, usually to bring some sort of shame or hurt. Be the better man. Use your words for good, not evil.