But when Jehoram had taken over his father’s kingdom and had secured his position, he killed all his brothers along with some of the government officials. 2 Chronicles 21:4 (MSG)
Fear is at the root of many foolish actions. At best, fear causes us to make unwise decisions in an attempt to feel a false sense of security. At worst, it motivates stepping on, or even destroying, others in an attempt to lift ourselves up.
Jehoram’s killing of his siblings and rivals is a story recounted over and over again in human history. But it’s not just a story of kings. How often have I been mean to a person I viewed as a rival? How many times have I spoken ill of someone because I felt threatened? It’s really the same thing. As I read this morning I was reminded of Jesus’ words:
“You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill.”
Today, I’m mindful of bitter, angry and hurtful words from my mouth and the stench of death that are on them. I’m seeking today to choose words that give life.Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and emilys-photography