Home      Back to Trinity 6





Catechism Notes on the Sixth Commandment.

"You shall do no murder"

(References: Bible, Calvin's Institutes, Catholic Catechism)


What Does "Murder" Include?

- Jesus' reading of this Commandment: [Matthew 5:22-23] [1 John 3:15] Includes a whole range: from the outward act of murder to the inward holding of anger in our hearts.


Physical Harm to the body of another:

  • Physical violence of all kinds directed at another - Murder, any kind of physical assault - hitting, pushing, slapping, kicking... sexual assault of any kind.  Examples: abortion (except in extreme cases), euthanasia, suicide

  • It does not include killing of another out of self-defence.  Examples - to preserve one's own life, to protect one's family, or to preserve the common good in society (a just war)

  • It includes failing to help another person in danger or exposing others to danger

Spiritual harm to another (psychological harm)

  • uttering threats, intimidating others, cursing them anything that leads them to be afraid - tempting others to sin, especially those who are under one's authority or who are weaker (especially children see Matthew 18:6-7, Luke 7:15)

Why Are We Forbidden to Murder (intimidate, hate,...)?

  • It violates the golden rule - do unto others as you would have them do to you (Mt 7:12)

  • All human beings are made in the image of God and we are not to violate in any way that image - our neighbour's life and our life is sacred (see Genesis 9:5,6)

  • God is the giver of life, and loves and cherishes all life - God hates any action that limits the freedom and growth of another. When people live in fear of another, it limits their freedom as human beings and stunts the growth of their soul.

Just before the flood, the whole world was filled with violence (Genesis 6:11)  Violence is the sign of the final degradation of the soul - the opposite of giving one's life for a friend (love) is to take another life out of self love (hate).


What Can We Do About Violence?

  • Deal quickly with our anger - reconcile as soon as possible, if possible, before the sun goes down (Eph 4:26t)

  • Look for its source in your soul - envy, covetousness, revenge, lust for power, frustration, injustice - at the heart of reconciliation is forgiveness - recall God's forgiveness of each of us, even while Christ was being tortured and was hanging on the Cross.

  • Wrath kills. If anger is in us, we are to humble ourselves and put on the Lord Jesus Christ: 

    "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved; compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another. " Colossians 3: 12-13

  • Do not provoke anger in others (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21)