“Thou shalt not kill,” is how the King James
Version of the Bible renders Deuteronomy, the fifth
chapter, verse 17. The New World Translation says,
“You must not murder.” Most people think of
physical murder when reading these verses, but have
you ever thought about how this would apply in a
spiritual sense also?
Spiritually murdering someone is just as bad as
physically murdering them. In fact, I think it’s
worse because the person has to continue trying to
live while they are dead inside.
Last month, we discussed committing spiritual
suicide. My article established that committing
spiritual suicide meant deliberately killing real
meaning in one’s life by not doing work that is
meaningful or being the person you were truly meant
When we spiritually murder someone, we kill that
person’s desire, will or enthusiasm for reaching
their life-time goals or true potential. We will
discuss the possible motives for spiritual murder
later, but first let’s examine some of the
characteristics of spiritual murderers. How do
you know if you’re a spiritual murderer?
Has anyone ever told you what their dream or
ambition was, and you laughed at them?
Has anyone ever shared their plans for achieving
their dream and you scoffed at the, saying it
couldn’t be done without even offering an
Has anyone ever shared their plans for success with
you, and you wished them the best to their face,
but secretly you hoped they failed?
Here are some other characteristics:
Spiritual murderers never offer an alternative plan
after pronouncing that something won’t work or
can’t be done.
Spiritual murderers are usually negative. They
find fault with everything and everybody and
condemn everything and everybody.
Spiritual murderers think they know everything, no
matter what subject you bring up.
Spiritual murderers don’t always come right out and
tell you that they disapprove of what you’re
planning to do, but they’re very subtle and will
say things like, “Are you sure you want to do that?”
Thus, planting seeds of doubt in your mind.
Above everything else, spiritual murderers think
they know what’s best for you.
I hope none of these characteristics apply to you.
More than likely, you have encountered spiritual
murderers in your life (or you will in the future).
Now that we’ve identified some of the characteris-
tics of spiritual murderers, let’s analyze why
they do what they do.
Some spiritual murderers are motivated by…are you
ready for this? Love! That’s right! I know it’s
hard to believe, but let’s face it, it’s the
closest people like our family and friends that are
usually guilty of spiritual murder. Some of them,
but not all, are truly concerned about you and
don’t want you to get “hurt”, so they encourage
you to play it safe by getting a “good” job
instead of going after the work you feel
Other spiritual murderers have their own agenda.
They want you to abandon your dreams to help them
fulfill their own.
Still other spiritual murderers feel that there are
causes bigger than both of you that you should
commit your life to, whether you believe in them or
How can you protect yourself from spiritual murder-
ers? Keep your dreams away from them. You don’t
have to stop speaking to them, or treat them in an
unkind way, but when it comes to the fulfillment
of your dreams, stay away from the subject. Talk
about sports (if you’re into that) or current
events in the news. When you have a success
along the journey to reaching your goal, share it
with the spiritual murderer if they get in your
face. But keep your failures to yourself. No
sense in giving them ammunition to use against you!
If you don’t have any successes that you can yet
point to, think seriously about what you can say to
the spiritual murderer if they confront you. You
may want to be honest and tell them that you need
to be around positive people and hear positive
things because it will take a lot of energy to
reach your goals. If they can’t say something
positive, then don’t say anything to you. I
actually said this to someone. Her response?
“You just don’t want to hear the truth!” I went
on to tell her that I beat myself up enough and
didn’t need her beating me up as well. I told
her that if she couldn’t be supportive, then I
didn’t want her in my life. Her attitude
changed completely. She apologized, told me she
didn’t want to be out of my life and started
treating me with a level of respect that surprised
Copyright 2002 Dolores G. Wix