56a — Do Not Give False Testimony

Am I Guilty of Giving False Testimony? —

false witness

In the Ten Commandments, God tells us that we are not to give false testimony against our neighbor.
Most people immediately think this means we are to tell the truth, the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth in a court of law.


false testimonyThis is accurate for sure, but speaking truth about our neighbor has just as much to do with how we speak about others in everyday life — especially when they are not around.


false testimonyDo we carelessly share unflattering second-hand stories about others in order to impress
our friends and make them laugh?


false testimonyDo we quickly judge our classmates (or siblings) and delight in pointing out their faults before we know all the facts?


false testimonyDo we enjoy telling juicy news and spreading an unconfirmed rumor about a mutual friend —
sometimes even masking it as a prayer request?


false testimonyDo we deliberately say misleading things to get others in trouble or hurt their feelings?


false witnessDo we shift the blame by pretending we have had no part in hurtful gossip?


false testimonyDo we read and laugh about unverified secrets about others via texting?


false testimonyDo we accuse others of wrongdoing so that we won’t get into trouble ourselves?


false testimonyDo we respond with half-truths or remain silent when acquaintances begin talking behind
someone’s back, because we don’t want them to stop liking us or
even worse — to talk behind our backs?


false testimonyWhen we participate in these things, we are breaking God’s commandment to not give false testimony against our neighbor. In doing so, we not only hurt another person,
but we also deeply hurt God.


For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen,
cannot love God, whom he has not seen. I John 4:20 NIV


My Prayer

Dearest Father, It is so easy to misrepresent other people. I am ashamed of the times I have participated in this — in giving false testimony either knowingly or unknowingly. Please forgive me and help me to be compassionate, discerning, and honest in what I say about my neighbor. I want to please you in this important area of my life. Thank you. Amen.

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