The 6th love commandment consists of just four little words, yet those four little words are oh so POWERFUL in meaning … “Thou shall not kill”! Listen, there’s A LOT more behind obeying this commandment than simply not physically murdering someone. And Jesus had much to say about it! So let’s see what the Bible says.
In his sermon on the mount, Jesus said: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment” (Matthew 5:21-22). The first thing we learn here is the 6th love commandment also has to do with “anger”. The English phrase “without a cause” was translated from a single Greek word ‘eikē’ meaning: in vain, for nothing, to no purpose. Listen, Jesus often got angry at the Pharisees, but it was for their hypocrisy (meaning their sin). He HATED their sin (their disobedience to the 10LC) yet he still loved them! And therein is the key with anger: be angry with the sin (evil), but not with the person. Any other reason for anger is in vain, or to no purpose.
Now if you get angry – and it will inevitably happen! – the Apostle Paul wrote some wise words of advise: “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27). In other words, get over your anger QUICKLY! This is so crucial; you must let go of your anger towards someone as fast as possible, or you will give a mighty place to the devil in your life, for your anger will soon turn into a prolonged hatred, bitterness, and resentment for them. And this is a DANGEROUS heart condition to be in, for it is a “murderous spirit”, which is disobedience to the 6th Love Commandment. And THAT is fatal to the eternal destiny of your soul! Listen to the Apostle John’s sobering words of truth: “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him” (I John 3:15). Wow.
Now I told you in the 1st love commandment that as we go over the 10LC’s I am going to continually point out how PRIDE (or selfishness) in a person’s heart is actually what causes them to disobey them. So let me do that right now with some examples concerning this commandment. Some people hate others because they have more money & possessions than they do. But that’s just evidence of their selfish idolatrous heart saying “I wish I had that!” See, this kind of anger or hatred is COMPLETELY in vain! Then, some people hate others because they said or done something wrong to them, and here’s their hearts’ thought process, “How dare they speak to me like that!” Or, “They’re not going to get away with treating me like that! I’ll get them back!” But do you hear what is at the center of these thoughts? It is PRIDE! Even racist hatred is just a prideful heart saying, “I’m better than you!” Listen, there are thousands of reasons you can hate someone, ranging from they gave you a dirty look to they raped your daughter, but understand it will always be your foolish pride that causes you to disobey the 6th love commandment by “murdering (or hating) your neighbor”. Simply put, “Pride” will not let you love! How sad.
So what’s the solution for letting go of anger and hatred? In other words, what’s the DO SIDE of the 6th LC? It’s FORGIVENESS! Yes, ‘forgiving’ is a HUGE part of obeying the 6th love commandment. And Jesus had some powerful words to say about forgiveness with respect to the eternal destiny of your soul:“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive NOT men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15). Wow, pretty clear cut, huh? You must forgive others if you want to obtain eternal life!
But why is “forgiving” someone so hard to DO? Because it requires you to forsake your pride!!! And THAT is the HARDEST thing to DO in life! Do you understand? But look, haven’t you done something wrong to someone else at one time or another? Of course you have! Then renounce your foolish pride and forgive others when they do wrong to you. Don’t let hate (or murder) build up in your heart. If you do, it is just evidence your pride is still in FULL bloom, and that you do NOT have the love of God inside of you. And that is a very sad condition to be in, for it means you are walking the “broad way of pride (or evil)” that leads to the eternal destruction of your soul in the end. To obtain eternal life you must repent of sin, turn around, and begin walking the “narrow way of love (or good)” by obeying God’s 10LC’s.
Jesus taught many other things that fall under obeying the 6th love commandment. Listen to some of them, and as you do, notice how they describe a person who knows how to love (when they’ve been treated badly!) by disowning their pride and not becoming angry or hateful towards their neighbor: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, Do not resist the evildoer: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also … Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 6:38-39, 44). Friend, if you live like that, your pride is dead, and love is in FULL bloom!