At first glance, this commandment seems to just prohibit perjury, or lying under oath in a court setting. Clearly, this is included in the commandment but it’s not the whole picture.
Ultimately, the commandment prohibits lying about other people in any forum. Indeed, throughout Christian history, the commandment has included a prohibition against gossip. And it is no wonder that gossip has been identified as forbidden by God because it is one of the most destructive things in the Church and society.
The Bible is full of passages that talk about slander and gossip. Here’s a sample:
“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.” (Proverbs 26:22)
“A false witness will perish, but a careful listener will testify successfully.” (Proverbs 21:28)
“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” (Proverbs 16:28)
“Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.” (Proverbs 26:20)
So, this blog post is very simple: don’t gossip.
As Christine Caine has said, “If you don’t see it with your own eyes, if you don’t hear it with your own ears, then don’t invent it with your little brain or speak it with your big mouth.”
We need to be careful with our words and how we speak about others.
You may be saying, “I don’t think I gossip.” Or you may be asking, “How do I know if I’m gossiping?”
Here’s are 2 simple initial tests (there are others):
- Are you whispering when you’re talking about someone else? If so, you may be gossiping;
- If the person about whom you’re talking were to walk up and hear the conversation, would you be embarrassed? If so, you’re probably gossiping.
God calls us to go in the absolute opposite direction with our speech and casts a great vision: “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt.” (Colossians 4:6) Let’s capture God’s vision for our speech!