Friday, June 10, 2016

What to Write ~ Commandment 6

I've been writing a series of letters to my kids based on the 10 Commandments. You can find my other letters in this series by following the links below.

  1. first letter (introduction)
  2. second letter (first commandment - no other gods)
  3. third letter (second commandment - no idols)
  4. fourth letter (third commandment - don't misuse God's name)
  5. fifth letter (fourth commandment - keep the Sabbath day holy)
  6. sixth letter (fifth commandment - honor your father and mother)

And now for the seventh letter discussing the sixth commandment...


How are you? We are well. We've changed seasons here and are now in summer - our warmest season. This is also when our girls get a break from school studies. I'm enjoying my garden and love seeing everything grow. Right now we have a lot of raspberries, which is one of my favorite kinds of fruit. I also love the different creatures I find that visit the garden - bees, insects and frogs. Sometimes I can see hummingbirds and butterflies, but by the time I am ready to take their photo they have flown away. I will keep trying and if I manage to get a photo, I will send it to you.

I also wanted to tell you about something very exciting that happened in May. Sydney, our oldest daughter who is 11 years old, was baptized at our church. This brought our family so much joy - to see her publicly declare her decision to follow Jesus Christ and be immersed in the waters of baptism.

In my last several letters to you I've been talking about the 10 Commandments. Do you remember that the first four teach us to love God with all our hearts? And the rest of them show us how to love others with that same kind of love. In my last letter we talked about honoring our father and mother (or guardian). The sixth commandment is this...You shall not murder.  Exodus 20:13

It seems pretty obvious to me (and hopefully to you), that we are not to kill another person. Jesus expands on this idea in the Sermon on the Mount in the book of Matthew (5:21-22). In this passage he says,

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment."

Jesus is teaching us that being righteous is more than just following laws. If we are filled with anger for people around us, we are sinning. It's true that we might be keeping the commandment not to murder or kill them, but we are sinning. Following the commandments is so much more than simply obeying a's about a complete change of heart. If we are to love others in the same way we love God, then we cannot be filled with anger towards them (and of course we won't murder them). Don't let your heart be filled with anger and hate towards others.

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