First, let me give credit for inspiring this post to my Mom who wrote a very nice lesson about the Commandment "You shall not kill". My mother has been writing a number of lessons for our Church's "upper-level" Sunday-school program, which also go out to various people who are family, friends, or interested in the materials (a group which includes me).
This lesson in particular struck a cord in me. When I was little "You
shall not kill" seemed like the Commandment least useful for daily
living. But as my mother noted, Jesus taught that "You shall not kill"
also applies to anger and hatred. After all, murder comes from such
But sometimes it feels like that as long as you don't act on the anger
and hatred, it's fine to store it up inside you. At least, I used to
think that way. When I was in middle school in particular, every grade
there would be one or two kids who I hated, who made me constantly
angry. I thought I was justified in my anger because they didn't seem
to care about the effect of their jokes and teasing, and because they
hit on topics that very sensitive for me at the time, but thinking back
on it perhaps I just didn't understand them, or perhaps they had too
much on their mind from other matters that made them careless, as my
Mom pointed out, God asks us not to judge.
In any case, my anger, my hatred got me nothing. There were a few cases
where I tried telling them off, but those were always ineffective (I've
found that telling someone to stop a hurtful behavior works if that
person was your friend to begin with, but is much more difficult when
there isn't that bond). The anger also never gave me any sense of
release for my frustrations, I had many of them in middle school and I
thought perhaps if I could focus my irritations on a few people I could
release it. Instead, I found my frustrations intensified as my thoughts
circled around my anger. I found that when I was angry or caught up in
hate, my enjoyment of life lessened, my relationships with those I
cared about suffered, and my spiritual life faltered.
I'm not sure if there was a special moment when I decided to stop
hating people. In fact, even now there are moments when I slip into
that state of mind, but nowadays I take care to pull myself out of it.
Sometime around my freshman year of high school a change happened in my
way of thought. Whether there was a moment or not, I do believe this
was a gift from God. I began to notice that I had no objects of hate,
and though I tried to pick out historical figures or concepts to hate,
I realized there was no need to hate. Anger and hate simply kept me
from growing closer to God.
Later in high school, as I became more convinced that hate was harmful
to the soul, I found to my surprise, without intending it, I had
befriended most of those classmates I had once considered my enemies.
Thinking about my later friendships, my previous anger seems silly.
I get angry at times, but I've been making the effort to catch myself
and stop myself from being caught up in anger. Anger, hatred, even if
they don't lead to actions like murder, the person who bears them I
believe suffers, the mind, body, and spirit become corrupted, and the
sin of hate pollutes the person's relationship with God. And it is so
unnecessary. At least in my life, I have found that if I seek to
embrace love and reject hate, I am much happier for it, I am much more
successful in life for it, and I feel closer to God.
After all, if we love God, shouldn't we love his children, who are
created in his image?
Those are just some thoughts I had about this Commandment, and I
thought I'd share them.
Anywho, take it to your head, take it to your heart and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!
And God Bless.
6 months ago