Deuteronomy 5:17 – Who is Your One? – That One Person That Gets Your Goat

Posted: December 28, 2016 in 05-Deuteronomy
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Deuteronomy 5:17

You Must Not Murder

Have you ever wished that someone was dead? Maybe, your life would be better off if they were not alive. Maybe, you would never physically do the deed of killing that person but you just wished that they no longer existed and would welcome news that they had met their end. Maybe, you have never felt that way. Maybe, you have. If you have been lucky enough to never have felt that way, you probably need to read no further. Maybe, you are a better person than most.


There are those people in life that seem hellbent on making our lives miserable. I am sure that if you have lived 54 years as I have, then, there is probably one person that comes immediately to mind that fits the bill. I am generally a mild-mannered person who avoids conflict whenever possible. Often, I avoid conflict even when I know I am right. Often, I avoid conflict just to keep the peace. I disdain conflict. Part of it has to do with the fact that I am more of a deep thinker. I ponder things and mull them over in my mind and such. Whereas, in the midst of conflict, you must be a quick thinker. You must get your ideas together and express them in a cogent way quickly or you will lose the fight that you are fighting. Another part is that I always think that there is merit to another person’s opinion so standing firm in my own opinion is not an absolute. If you have that attitude, you often avoid getting into those shouting matches of strict yes-no, you’re wrong/I’m right positions. Another is simply a lack of self-confidence in myself that my opinion is valid, that I have a right to feel the way that I do. Being a people pleaser such as myself, you tend to not think that you have some innate right to your own feelings and opinions.


Having said all that, I will have to admit that during my divorce from my first wife that I had those feelings of wishing she were dead. That divorce was the divorce from hell. During the first year after our separation, she would harass me by phone. She would harass me in person. She would harass the girl that I was seeing (that would become my second wife). She lost complete control of her senses to the point that she used our children to claim that I had molested my daughter. This was her defense at court when I brought her up on contempt charges for not allowing me to see my children. It was her aim to destroy me. If should could no longer have me, she did not want anyone else to have me either. The pressure was relentless. It was unending. It was part of her daily routine to see what she could do to me today. It was during this time that I admit to being so angry at her that I wished she no longer existed. There were times during our face to face confrontations that I felt so angry that I could have made that happen. However, mostly, it was just thoughts of how much easier my life would be if she were not around. Execution of any of these feelings was prevented by basic morality and my feeling deep down that somehow I deserved all the punishment I was getting for having ended the marriage.


Have you ever felt that way about another person? It was those feelings that I had toward my first wife that came to mind when I read through this passage/verse today. There is only one person that I have ever came close to remotely wishing “no longer existing” on and she was my one. Although those feelings were short-lived and eventually I began to feel sorry for my first wife for the way that she let our divorce consume her life in one way or another the rest of her life, I still felt that anger and had those thoughts in 1993-1994 that were sinful. Let’s read what the Bible says at Deuteronomy 5:17:


17 “You shall not murder.


Short and sweet. One of the shortest verses in the Bible but one of the most powerful in all of the Bible. Violation of this commandment has marred human existence from the beginning. “But I don’t murder people!” you may say. Good. That fulfills the letter of the law. Jesus, however, explained that even hateful anger breaks the spirit of the commandment (Matthew 5:21-22). Have you ever been so angry with someone whom you believed had mistreated you that, for a moment or several moments, you wished that person no longer existed? Jesus tells us that we have violated this commandment when we harbor deep seated anger in our hearts that we refuse to let go of. Even if we have not committed the crime that violates the letter of the law, we are morally guilty before God for having committed murder in our hearts and must seek forgiveness from God and repent of our sinfully harbored thoughts. We must commit ourselves to releasing these thoughts to the Lord. We must commit ourselves to praying for those who persecute us. We must allow the Lord to handle their sin and not us.


Who is your one? Who is that person that just gets your goat? Who is that person that gets under your skin? Who is it or who was it? Maybe there is someone in your past that is no longer an active part of your life that you still harbor hatred toward? Who is it? Take them and lay them at the cross. It is time to forgive and hand them over to the Lord.


Amen and Amen.

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