As with the other commandments, people tend to distort the command "Do not murder" into something that serves or excuses their own interests. Some invent "exceptions" to excuse murders they want to commit (such as genocide or murder of the unborn); others try to use this command as a "weapon" against legitimate forms of punishment that God requires of civil authorities (such as capital punishment). Still others choose to ignore the attitudes of the heart, which are "invisible" expressions of murder.
In addition to the "do not" aspect of this command, there are "positive" commands implied. We have an obligation to do what encourages life - which includes anything that would "build up" another person (rather than "tearing him down"). Even expressions of love, such as encouragement, would fall under the "positive" side of this command. Everything we do must express a constructive "life-style," rather than a destructive "death-style."
NOTE: In the command "do not murder" (Exodus 20:13), a few translations use the word "kill," instead of the word "murder." Though the context would make it obvious to most readers that it refers to murder, some people try to use it to justify a prohibition against the taking of any human life under any circumstances - thus "forcing" it to contradict many other verses found in the Bible.
The "Positive" Side of the Issue: Building-Up Others and Promoting Life
Obviously, by simply doing the opposite if what is described in later sections, we can accomplish positive expressions of this commandment. Most articles that might be placed here are located at other places on the website. To provide an example of what "building-up others" is like, here is a link to one of the articles:
Murder in the Heart
Scripture warns us that attitudes, such as anger, violate the command against murder, as much as killing an innocent person does - though the visible damage may be far less. Yet there are some instances in which anger is legitimate - yes, even required. (In such a case, it would not be "murder in the heart.") This group of articles looks at what the Bible says about some of these attitudes.
This is an in-depth study (mostly New Testament) of two topics that are closely related. Scripture gives many prohibitions against anger and rage, but it also spells out specific circumstances in which they are legitimate or even mandatory.
A list of verses about anger, from the Psalms, Proverbs and New Testament. A few suggestions are given, but you're in charge of designing the study.
This article takes a look at the concept of revenge/vengeance, with a focus on Romans 12:19-21. Included are comments about instances in which revenge may be a legitimate course of action.
Here is a list of verses, mostly from the Old Testament. A number of verses that mention God's vengeance are included.
The "Legal" Murder of the Unborn
People can call it what they want, but with the Bible's definition of human life, it is nothing more or less than murder. The only difference is that this group of people are unable to fight back. In the days of the Old Testament prophets, people murdered them just after they were born, and called it a "spiritual" activity (example, Jeremiah 32:35). Today, they do it before their screams can be heard (though the victim often goes through the motions of painful screaming); and those who are guilty appease their own consciences, by calling the victims "tissue."
This article contrasts the relatively few deaths caused by foreign terrorists on 9/11/01, with the utterly horrific number of murders done "by choice," by American citizens in abortion clinics.
Abortion is merely a symptom. Until we deal with the root causes, we will never eradicate it from the land.
Is WAR a Form of Murder?
The Old Testament makes a distinction between the two. The same God who said "Do not murder," in the Ten Commandments, also commanded his people to go to war (though only for specific reasons). [Currently, one article is available, from a different part of the website.]
Some of the ways Jesus "built up" other people ...
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed, ..." (Luke 4:18)