Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Thou Shalt Not …

Aaron Hernandez makes us feel better about ourselves.

Despite the fact that he has not been tried yet for the gruesome death of Odin Lloyd, the court of public opinion has rendered him a cold blooded killer along the lines of Dirty Harry.

Hernandez was a promising tight end for the New England Patriots who just two years ago was catching passes from Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. Now he is sitting in jail with no bail facing a first degree murder charge.

Society can forgive most things. But murder? Not a chance. Even the sixth commandment leaves no wiggle room or loophole. Murder is wrong.

Forget for a moment that we live in a digital age filled with public relations savvy and fleeting fame where image reins over truth in most circumstances. And that the intent of most is to sell oneself to the media as a likeable commodity. None of us know Aaron Hernandez. But yet, we look at him and his arrest for first degree murder and feel pretty good in comparison. After all, most believe hell is reserved solely for the worst of worst. Adolph Hitler. Charles Manson. Jeffrey Dahmer. Certainly not us.

But Jesus has a different view. In the Gospel of Matthew, He threw his audience a curve ball when He said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.”

Jesus is always looking at the heart for it is here that the issues of life spring forth. Anger is the beginning of murder. Many of us only believe our actions are sinful but Jesus backs up the sin problem to our heart. Proverbs 23:7 tells us that as a man thinks, so is he. In other words, we are a product of our thoughts.

Abortion was passed in this country because we changed our thinking about life in the womb. We have told ourselves for decades now that a fetus is not really a life until the third trimester and that a woman has a right to do what she wants to her body. It is this thinking that now has conservative abortion estimates up to 50 million annually. That number is staggering. And it has its roots in wrong thinking.

It is all too easy to look at Aaron Hernandez and excuse ourselves from self-examination but really his arrest should do just the opposite. We should probe deeper and look at our own hearts to see if we have seeds of anger. And not only anger but lust, greed, gluttony, pride, covetousness and envy – all of which are the root of sinful actions.

Jesus came to save sinners. At the cross we find forgiveness and victory over sin. Jesus bids us to come and then beckons us to extend His forgiveness to others.

There is a sin problem. We all have it. And Jesus is the remedy.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.’” - Gospel of Matthew 7:1-5


Anonymous said...

It makes sense. Anger is the source of murder. Hernandez seems like an angry man from the little I have seen on him on TV. Thanks for the encouragement to self-inspect.

Anne Marie Donadio said...

Thanks for your commnet. Yes, he seems very angry. I would imagine it would be difficult to actually murder someone without being angry. It makes you pause to consider your own anger and the need for forgiveness of others daily.