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Solving the murder rate by going in the opposite direction to murder

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Paul described the law as wonderful but weakened by human failures (Romans 8:2-4). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave several examples of that (Matthew 5:21-37). His first illustration was of the law against murder. Jesus showed that although most of us may have never actually committed murder in the letter, we are all guilty of breaking a deeper meaning of that law. The law could not change our human hearts from unjust anger and character assassination. A negative approach of more rigid laws against murder does not solve the real problem. A neutral position of avoiding anger or name-calling is not the answer. He taught a positive approach by actually going in the opposite direction of murder. A couple of examples that Jesus gave were: seeking reconciliation between estranged parties and the speedy settlement of disagreements.

Jesus discussed the law “thou shalt not murder.” The letter of the law gives us license to miss its purpose, love. We can look down on murderers on death row and justify ourselves simply because we have never acted on the anger in our own hearts. We can call others empty-headed fools or worthless fools and believe that we are not criminals. Yet, Jesus pointed out that such thoughts move us in the same direction as murder. So, he encouraged us to move in the opposite direction. Our first duty in worshiping God is to reconcile with those with whom we have conflicts. With those who hate us and refuse to reconcile, we ought to hasten at least to come to some kind of agreement, lest the whole matter go to court and we lose everything.

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