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In the Gates

Guard Your Heart

Guard Your Heart--Murder begins in the heart, when men fail to guard their affections.

The sixth commandment

6.1 You shall not hate

We must not allow hate, in any form, to take root in our hearts or come to expression in our lives.

Leviticus 19.17, 18

You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.”

Psalm 66.18; Matthew 5.21-24; Luke 6.27, 28; James 4.11, 12; 1 John 2.9-11; 1 John 3.15

Murder begins in the heart, when men fail to guard their affections. Hate is not a negative affection; it’s simply an affection, and has its proper place in the divine economy (Ps. 97.10). But we must not hate our neighbor. Hate can lead to holding a grudge, which, in turn, can lead to seeking vengeance and, in the worst case scenario, murder.

The way to combat hate is the “reason frankly” with our neighbors. When someone has offended against us, there is an appropriate recourse to take in seeking to make matters right. But at all times we must diligently guard our hearts against anger, hate, resentment, jealousy, or any other misguided affections. Out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks, and out of the fullness of the heart we act toward others according to the affections reigning there. Guard your heart.

This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to and click on our Book Store.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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