No Gossip, Even in Disguise
"You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor." Exodus 20:16 NIV
Thoughts for Today
The ninth commandment tells us that we are not to speak dishonestly about our neighbor. Who is our neighbor? Anyone in the human race!
This commandment is broken not only when we tell an outright lie, but also when we use deception of any kind. We have probably all been guilty of participating in gossip, either by carrying tales ourselves or by listening to others gossip and remaining silent, failing to stand up for the accused.
Gossip is often couched in seemingly caring language: Please understand—I don't mean to put this person down, but did you know … or Isn't it sad that Joe is abusing his wife … or I wouldn't tell you this, but you need to know how to pray.
If for some reason we do need to share something negative about another person, we first need to be certain that we have our facts straight. Then we need to examine our motives for wanting to tell someone about it and tell only those who really do need to know.
The Bible says "the tongue has the power of life and death" (Proverbs 18:21). Are you using yours for life? Strive always to speak the truth in love.
Lord, forgive me for the times I have participated in gossip … the times my careless words have hurt someone. Help me always to speak the truth in love. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
The Ten Commandments: Applying the Foundations of Living to My Personal Life by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. Knowing that there are absolutes that define moral conduct and ethical decisions is essential for believers surrounded by relativistic values. This guide helps us understand God's boundaries. It shows how the Ten Commandments apply today. It also discusses the biblical laws on which the legal codes of every civilized society are based. This guide is written in a way that helps people see the Ten Commandments in light of today's problems. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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