(click to listen, right click to download) “Verbal Homicide”
Jesus’ teaching always cuts right to a person’s heart. Like a master surgeon, he exposes the dark corners that need to be cleansed.
We tend to categorize people into groups such as good vs. bad, convict vs. free, criminal vs. model citizen, etc. However when categorizing others, we usually place ourselves in the more favorable group. In our day it is easy to label someone as a “hater” on social media. Legislation exists specifically addressing hate crimes or hate speech. Some of these measures may help, but they do not address the root problem- sin in a person’s heart.
Jesus says it is not only the acts of murder that are sins, but the evil thoughts and intentions of a person’s heart. In God’s eyes, an angry insult or outburst is essentially a form of verbal homicide.
When we realize how spiteful and hateful we act or think towards others in daily life, we see our need for grace. And when we realize Christ grants us forgiveness, we are freed and equipped to pursue personal reconciliation.