Hi, Jason Pankau here with another video devotional to help you walk in the Lord today. We are still continuing the series of the Ten Commandments. We are going to dive into a big one, the 8th Commandment, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” If you’re in the Scripture, you would find this in two places. I’m here in Deuteronomy 5:20, again, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor”.
Dr. Martin Luther’s take on this from the Small Catechism is as follows, “We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.” I love people who do this well. It is definitely a sign of God working in and through their lives, because our world today just teaches us to tear one another down, to make yourself look better by making others look worse. It reminds me of the beatitudes, where Jesus was wrapping them up, He said, in Matthew 5:10, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” That’s what you’re living for and people of this world will say all kinds of bad things against you. Matthew 5:11 continues, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Making sure that we protect one another’s reputation and say everything in the kindest way is evidence that God is moving in and through us. Of course, kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. I don’t know about you, but I violate this from time to time. I know it’s hard to believe, that a Pastor might violate this, but I do. In my role, I am trying to help churches make change and there are a lot of people in churches, for example, that don’t want to change.
The persecution that Jesus was talking about isn’t just for people that aren’t Christians. It’s for Christians who don’t want to change within the church and they’ll falsely say all kinds of things against you. You need to understand that this is universally true. And of course, we have probably said false things about others. In order for us to have impact, the kind of impact God wants to make through His community, a good name is better than gold. We need to protect the testimony of what God is doing in and through one another’s lives. And not blow things out of proportion or say things to make others side with us and not like them. We’ve got to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. We need to let the fruit of the spirit flow through us. We should not be giving false testimony against our neighbors. Who is my neighbor? Everybody’s my neighbor. So the challenge is to live with grace and truth and to be truth speakers. To resist the temptation, even though we could very easily try to influence others to not like those that are being mean to us or dislike those that are not like us. Be truth speakers. Do not give false testimony. Do not lie. Let’s pray.
Lord Jesus, we pray that You would turn us into truth speakers. Father, we’ve all been tempted to lie by the evil one and we’ve followed in our flesh. Renew us, forgive us and thank You that we can be sure that You are faithful and just, as we confess our sins, we will be forgiven because of the blood of Jesus, because of what You have done for us. Father, empower us afresh to be people of the truth and that alone. Help us to resist the temptation to fight back against those who falsely say all kinds of evil against us. Father, just let our lives shine, as one of my mentors used to say, let us, in walking in Your Spirit, just outlive them. Let the light of Your Gospel shine. We pray that you would use us as Your beacons of light today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I pray that you would shine as it says in Philippians, “like stars in the universe amidst a crooked and depraved generation.” Being truth speakers, people who watch our tongue is a big way that happens. God bless you.