Thou shalt not kill.
The word translated as kill in this verse includes both premeditated and accidental murder. Meaning, of course, to take away or extinguish life. We look down on someone with great disdain when they have killed someone and as a society we lock them up and the guilty party suffers the consequences of their actions for the rest of their life. That is all as it should be. However murder and killing can take many more forms that just violently taking another human beings life.
How come we are not just as shocked by the things that we do to ourselves as we are when one person takes another person’s life? An example is the compulsive behavior that has become all to common in today’s world. Compulsive eating, drug and alcohol dependency, working constantly and a multitude of other things we do, looking for satisfaction and fulfillment or escape from the pain in our life. The whole time we are slowly but just as surely killing ourselves, as if someone were violently attacking us.
We are told, more than once, in the Bible, to love our neighbor as our self. However looking at the way we treat this body we live in, I’m not sure I want anyone loving me the way they love themselves. We have no right to take another person’s life and likewise I don’t have a right to kill myself, either suddenly or slowly by abuse.
Life can be painful and many times things happen that seem beyond human comprehension but I still don’t have the right to kill myself or someone else. I didn’t give the life to start with and I don’t have the right to take it.
The biggest step I can take towards peace and happiness in this world is to discover my own self-hatred and trade that for the love that God has for me. God is love. When I have truly had an encounter with the God of Glory and the Creator of all things I will be filled with His love and the self hatred has to flee. Then I am able to live a well balanced life and share life with all who I cross paths with in the course of the day.
Dear Lord please cleanse us of the self hatred and fill us with your love for life!