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've 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.
Consider this ...
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 absolutely certain that we have our facts straight. Then we need to examine our motives for wanting to tell someone about it and to tell only those who really do need to know.
The Bible says that "the tongue has the power of life and death" (Proverbs 18:21). Are you using yours for life? Strive to always speak the truth in love.
Lord, forgive me for the times I've participated in gossip ... the times my careless words have hurt someone. Help me to always speak the truth in love.
These thoughts adapted from ...
PO Box 22127 ~ Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421 ~ 423-899-4770
© Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending e-mail to [email protected].