As part of his series on the Ten Commandments, Youth Director Mike Bittenbender talks about the ninth commandment, you shall not bear false witness. Here are some excerpts:
…The Heidelberg Catechism summarizes the ninth commandment this way: I must not give false testimony against anyone, twist no one’s words, not gossip or slander, nor condemn or join in condemning anyone rashly and unheard. Rather, I must avoid all lying and deceit as the devil’s own works, under penalty of God’s heavy wrath. In court and everywhere else, I must love the truth, speak and confess it honestly, and do what I can to defend and promote my neighbor’s honor and reputation.
What is so important about a name? Proverbs 22 Verse 1 says a good name is to be chosen rather than great riches and favor is better than silver or gold. A good name is being someone who is seen with a good reputation, good character, honest, and demonstrating integrity. Someone who keeps their words. Riches and material possessions can often be replaced, a good name though, once trounced through the mud, is hard to get back.
So, what are some ways that we tear down a person’s name through gossip, slander, and unwholesome talk? Ephesians 4 says, “Therefore, each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor. For we are all members of one body. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that may benefit those who listen, and do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. We are to put off falsehoods and speak truthfully. Unwholesome talk should not have a place in our lives but only what is helpful what is what is a way we can keep ourselves from taking part in these things.
Ron Mail says that when your mouth is filled with gratitude and thanksgiving, there simply isn’t going to be room for false, bitter or cynical words. An attitude of gratitude can help us. When we are so consumed with giving thanks to God for all that he has done for us, there is no room for unwholesome talk.