Exodus 20:16 (Commandment Nine) Meditation
Text (Ex 20:16, NIV):
"You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."
"At all times, and in all places, and in all circumstances, commit to being completely honest, genuine, and lovingly kind in the things you say about others—especially those who dwell with you trustingly (like your parents, siblings, children, elders, and close friends).
"Have you ever noticed how, when you begin to speak untruthfully about another, something rises within you prompting you to repeat such things over and over and over again? As if you feel the need to convince everyone on earth of the "truth" of what you're saying? Have you ever noticed, too, how the passion behind your words tends to be at a higher level than at other times? And further, have you noticed how those around you tend to lap up your murderous polemics like a thirsty dog(1)? Treating those you care about (or claim to care about) in such ways is devastatingly hurtful to everyone involved. Not only do such actions damage reputations, but (and more importantly) they destroy relationships, marriages, families, and communities. Don't behave in such ways. Keep falsehood far from you(2). And, when you hear others spreading such things about others, take a stand against such behavior. Pretending you didn't hear it (or hear about it), or just choosing to do nothing to stop or counter it, is totally disloyal(3). As I see it, it's the same thing as saying it yourself.
"My child, I hate it when untruths about the people I love (including you!) are spoken about and over them. In the realms of the Spirit, there is no greater enemy to another than he (or she) who speaks falsely about such a one. The true enemy of life, the murderous one who was cast down from heaven, is the deceiver and never-ending accuser of the brethren; day and night, he never stops accusing my children falsely—to each other and Me(4). When you walk in such ways and listen to such things, you become like him. Satan is the father of lies, and has been since the beginning of time(5). There is nothing morally good in him. In the light of these things, I ask you: Who's your father? Me or him? I urge you...don't pitch your tents in the camp of his offspring.
Oh My children, all these things are so very grievous to me. Stay far from such behavior, from participating (either actively or passively) in the murderous hatred of those who dwell trustingly near you. As I wrote through my servant long ago, 'Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil, and do good. Seek peace, and pursue it(6).' This is the way I wish all My people to live. Come to Me, and I'll give you the desire and ability to walk faithfully in such ways(7)."
Help me keep my tongue from all evil and my lips from telling lies. Give me the power to turn from evil and do good. Enable me, too, to seek peace in all things—to pursue it at all times, and in all places, and in all circumstances.
In the Name of Jesus, I ask these things…
Pay close attention when one or more of these indicators arise either in your speech or the speech of another. They can be good indicators (or "tells") of whether something being said is true. Even if the things being spoken are true, but are of a negative or disparaging nature, such things fall into the category of gossip and should be dealt with accordingly.
See Pr 30:8.
See Pr 24:11-12.
See Lk 10:18-20 and Jn 8:44.
See Jn 8:44.
See Ps 34:13-14.
See Ph 2:12-13.
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