10 C's #9 Lying, perjury and slander, part b

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Exodus 20:16 (NASB)

Yesterday, I shared my childhood experience of perjury which cured me of it. I also talked about unfulfilled promises. I was convicted of some of my own on my bike ride this morning. I need to call a friend up and renew my offer of assistance. I'd like to look at slander a bit today.

Like perjury, slander is a way to elevate yourself and denigrate your neighbor. Gossip is a milder form of slander. Gossip can be less about hurting someone and more about portraying yourself as a source of all things private and juicy. Slander is often blatant lies designed to harm the reputation of your neighbor. A gossip might slide into slander when truth is less interesting causing a decline in popularity. Sometimes, though, we might feel the desire to take someone down a peg or two. Why? It's God who elevates. Who are we to contradict God? Nevertheless, it ruptures community. Community is important to God. He wants us to live in peace with each other. Mothers pass down ancient wisdom to children, that, although not in the Bible, interprets this verse very practically. They say, "If you have nothing nice to say about a person, say nothing." Perhaps short term popularity will diminish but long term trust will emerge in community.


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