When we fast it is intended to give us space to reflect on our lives and not only pray that God would be revealed but also to be introspective, to think about what in our lives needs adapting. One of the things that is worthy of reflection is the way in which we interact with the ten commandments. Let's take a look at one of those now.
Let’s take a wild stab in the dark, and assume that most of us haven’t killed anything bigger than a bug. Or maybe a nasty looking spider. (So, no actual stabbing in the dark. Good.) But maybe there’s more to this commandment than the simple instruction of not physically killing another human being. There’s something in the concept of killing that still exists in our everyday life, and it’s to do with our attitude towards others. In Matthew 5:21-22 (NLT) Jesus expands on the idea of killing: ‘You have heard that our ancestors were told, “You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.” But I say if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment. If you call someone an idiot you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.’ Thats some really serious stuff. God tells us that life is sacred (because he created it), but He's also telling us not to destroy someone by our words either. So when we go about our lives, when we engage in a bit of office gossip, when we cruelly label someone or make fun of them, God hears. So when we talk like that about a person we are violating God's commandment because to Him, it’s a form of killing.
Read James 3:8-11 and Matthew 5:21-26. Reflect around the language you use with friends, family, and colleagues. Be in particular focused on the words you are using today. Which of your words bring ‘life’, and which do you need to stop before they bring ‘death’?
Father, thank you for your guidance in my life, and for how you look over every aspect of me life. Help me with my words and my thoughts about people – I want to build people up, not tear them down. Help me to guard my tongue, and ultimately give you glory in all I do. Amen.