Friday, November 30, 2007

Murder in the heart

I read somewhere that there was a study in the US in the 1980s in which people were asked: if they could eliminate another person by merely pushing a button and suffer no consequences, would they do it? 69% of the males, and 56% of the females said they would. So males were more prone to killing, but basically most of both sexes would kill. We are prevented from doing so only because there may be punishment, and the act of killing may be unpleasant.

However, if we hate someone so much that in our hearts, we want him or her to be eliminated, is it really any better than to actually kill? Most of us cannot kill a person, but we can gladly kill a fish, or chicken. Because they are considered less than human, and therefore, fair game. That is how some people justify killing other people, that the enemy is somehow less than human. Many reasons can be used – it could be the enemy’s beliefs, or the lack of it; their lowly birth, or heinous crime, etc. That’s what Matthew chapter 5, verses 21 to 26 was talking about. The Bible warned against calling people “idiot” (白癡), or other demeaning names, making them less than human.

Just a few days ago a Hong Kong study reported that men tend to bear a grudge longer than women – a surprise to some, but not all. The researchers speculated that it may be because women tend to talk about such feelings with friends and family, seeking comfort and release. While men tend to suppress such feelings without finding out the cause, and eventually the repressed feelings broke through as aggressive behaviour.

Hatred and revenge is one of the major causes of murderous behaviour between individuals, groups, nations, and cultures throughout history. Often the grudge-bearers suffer even more than the enemy. When our hearts are occupied with hatred, there is no room for love, for one another, or for God.

It seems impossibly hard to forgive. But with God, everything is possible, if only we trust in Him. It was in fact God who forgave us in the beginning. From Him, we can learn how to forgive.


Cleo said...

I believe that some people have no appetite for vengeance and prefer to shut their eyes and pretend that they live in "a world without thieves" and it is up to soldiers to protect them from their unwillingness to protect themselves. So it makes it harder on the fighters so it is only right that the fighters get the penthouse view since their eyes are wide open.

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