Don’t tell lies about your neighbor? Like, I never talk about my neighbor. Well, not much. Hardly ever. And I never lie about them, they’re good neighbors. They will help at a moment’s notice —
Seems we need to go back and learn what God means when He says “neighbor.” He doesn’t mean those who occupy the same street as us. He means those who occupy the same SPACE as us. Wherever we are.
So, at any given time, in any given space, those other people are our neighbors.
Now look at the words of Exodus 20:16 again in the Amplified Version,
“You shall not testify falsely, that is, lie, withhold, or manipulate the truth, against your neighbor (any person).”
Does that help make it clearer?
No omissions of truth.
No manipulations of truth.
Just pure unadulterated truth
about those people we occupy space with.
In case you didn’t catch it, this is one of the Big Ten – not the football conference – the commandments that God felt so passionate about He wrote them in stone.
When we talk about someone, anyone, we’re not supposed to make up stuff about them. We’re not to leave out the truth about them. We’re absolutely not to manipulate the truth to make our stories juicier.
Kinda like Joe Friday used to say, “Just the facts.”
This practice will keep us from doing some of the things God says He hates (check Proverbs 6:16-19), as well as keeping us from gossip, which He finds pretty heinous, too.
Our words can build up or destroy.
Let’s choose them wisely.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.