Daily Devotional for September 25
September 25 Matthew 5:21-26
Although we generally think of murder as a physical act,
today's Scripture reading invites us to look at the way we often
commit murder in the spiritual sense.
I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "If looks could kill... ."
Well, they can kill the spiritual self, if they convey the message
that the other person is inferior or worthless. They can do
this because the spiritual self is the central part of our identity:
when that central part is attacked, our sense of self-worth, of
simple value as a human being, can be seriously damaged or
destroyed. Looks or words that convey such destructive
messages are surely a kind of murder of the soul.
Destructive words or actions aimed at another indicate that
something is wrong, not only with our attitude toward
ourselves, but with our attitude toward others and God. If
personal insecurity about ourselves leads us to put others down
so that we can feel better about our own lives, we need to
develop a caring and loving attitude toward ourselves. If fear
of others leads us to isolate ourselves so as to protect ourselves
from hurt and avoid vulnerability, we need to develop a more
trusting attitude toward others. If fear that God does not care
about us leads us to seek control over every aspect of our life
rather than risk disappointment, we need to develop an
attitude of receptivity to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Changing attitudes is never easy; it takes time, prayer, and
constancy. If, however, we can acknowledge our real attitudes
and turn the matter over to God, the Scriptures tell us that
it will be done, because "with God nothing will be impossible."
Dear Lord, help me today to recognize and
surrender those attitudes that have a negative
impact on myself and on my relationship with
you and with others. Amen.
From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle
Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989