Wouldn't we all like to eliminate the possibility of harm to anyone? Or so we say. Still, for some of us, it's all too easy to believe we'd be better off if we could somehow -- lawfully, of course -- be rid of everyone who disagrees with, competes with, or disturbs us.
How many of us refrain from unmercifully criticizing or even covertly slandering those we don't like? Yet if we would aid in curbing the murderous assaults that take aim to physicallym assassinate public figures, we must bridle this urge to mentallym assassinate those who perhaps unwittingly offend us.
By cherishing the sixth of the Ten Commandments, we can cultivate individually, then universally, dominion over the urge to kill, and cast our influence in the right direction. But this will require of us an ever-deepening understanding of the protecting, preserving power of this command, "Thous shalt not kill," n1 and an ever-widening obedience to it.
n1 Exodus 20:13
Surely all can benefit by considering this command in the light of Christ Jesus' broad interpretation of it, which reads, "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thous 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 judgement: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca [probably from an Aramaic word meaning "O empty one, thous worthless"], shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thous fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." n2
n2 Matthew 5:21, 22
"Hell fire" is a stronger penalty than courts can impose. It is more confining than a penitentiary and sterner than capital punishment. Hell is a miserable, godless state of mind. Hell's fire is the remorseful guilt that rampant human will inevitably ignites.
Unloving thoughts plot every assassination attempt, physical or mental. If not silenced and sloughed, hatred acts indirectly to deaden one's moral sense, poison one's attitudes, corrupt one's actions, as well as making a target of one's foes. But the carnal mind is both the terrorist and the terrified. We need not indulge it or fear it. This false mind, opposing in belief the divine Mind that is God, is a fraud, a false, mortal material sense of creation from which we must awaken.
Spritual awakening may begin with tolerance for others' views and realization of only one Mind actually governing all. Through great sacrifice of a mortal sense of selfhood and also through prayerful struggle to express our true individuality, we can conquer misunderstanding and malice. We can refuse to admit antipathies that would, if entertained, kill harmonious relationships. We can look for valid points of agreement with people, instead of emphasizing differences.
Casual killing on TV and in the movies makes "drop dead" seem an easy way to dispose of whoever gets in the way of personal interests. But in divine reality , no idea of God can possibly interfere with another. We can exert dominion over human will and experience the joy discovering how each individual can actully help every other. Right in the place where the deceitful carnal mind would suggest a hell of hatred and resentment, our growing practice of Christian brotherhood can contribute to the fulfillment of heaven, harmony, on earth.
God and His creation are wholly and solely good. Understanding good's allness, even in a degree, arrests destructive impulses in thought, word, and deed. When we realize the suicidal aim of the assassination temptation, we don't dally with that temptation. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, alerts us when she writes: "'Thou shalt not kill;' that is, thou shalt not strike at the eternal sense of Life with a malicious aim , but shalt know that by doing thus thine own sense of Life shall be forfeited." n3
n3 Miscellaneous Writings,m p. 67
Divine Life, Truth, and Love -- God -- is not a killer but a healer. Therefore, in our true being as expressions of God, we are neither killers nor potential victims; we are ideas of God's eternal mercy. When "Thou shalt not kill" is reversed in Christian practice, it becomes a glorious motto: "Thou shalt love,m and live."m DAILY BIBLE VERSE Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart. Levit icus 19:17