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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

8/18/11 Not maligning another

Ninth Commandment: Do Not Bear False Witness Against Your Neighbor

 1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7:1-2)

11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. (James 4:11)

(Ecco Homini- Behold the man.  People bore false witness against Christ, slandering and maligning him as if they were pure).

Thoughts: The Study Catechism (Q114) of the Presbyterian Church (USA) speaking of this command, says, "God forbids me to damage the honor or reputation of my neighbor.  I should not say false things against anyone for the sake of money, favor, or friendship, for the sake of revenge or any other reason.  God requires me to speak the truth, to speak well of my neighbor when I can, and to vew the faults of my neighbor with tolerance when I cannot." In a consumer-crazed society, we are asked to judge.  We are encouraged to text to see who gets to stay on the next round.  We are encouraged to tweet or email a comment about why we think this or that human deserves to be punished.  These words of scripture admonish us to speak our words slowly and tenderly- for tomorrow we might have to eat them. Part of turning the other cheek and walking the extra mile is not laoding judgment and slander on another.

Prayer: God, help me to be quick to listen, slow to wrath, and slow to speak.  Let me build others up instead of tearing them down.

John Calvin Abridged form Institutes: We should guard ourselves against those who seek to bring sanctification to themselves by charging others with wrong. When we growl with ill will toward our neighbor hurting him- that is false witnessing.  1 Corinthians 6:10 says that slanderers will not inherit the kingdom. 

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