How often do you lie? Have you falsely accused someone? Do you spread half-truths or unverified rumors? Have you purposely told part of the truth? Are you deceitful? Have you considered that gossip is slander? How do you feel when you discover someone has lied about you?
I don’t believe any of us can claim we have never lied. We may have spread half-truths unknowingly. We may have purposely withheld a portion of the truth. Maybe we think we are protecting ourselves or someone else in doing so. We may have even heard it is okay is certain circumstances.
We are commanded by God to not bear false testimony against another person. We may like to think that only means in a court of law under an oath. Sure, that is one situation in which we should not bear false testimony, but that is not the full intent of the command.
There are opportunities to speak falsely on many occasions. It may be during a discussion with friends. We hear something and repeat it without verifying it. We may have a grudge against someone and create a false story to stain their reputation. We may falsely accuse someone based on limited information.
We are warned against giving false testimony. There are repercussions for it. Those repercussions may come in the form of our friends discovering us and abandoning us. We may be labeled a liar. Our false testimony may not be discovered at all, but God knows when we are not telling the truth.
I pray we all commit to telling the truth. I pray we do not give false testimony against others. I pray each one of us will determine to verify rumors before we repeat them to others. Do not slander. Do not gossip. Do not be deceitful. Do not speak falsely. Tell the truth. Be upstanding. Be beyond reproach.
Psalm 101:5, 7
Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret,
I will put to silence;
whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart,
will not tolerate….
No one who practices deceit
will dwell in my house;
no one who speaks falsely
will stand in my presence.