Re:Verse passage – Exodus 20:16 (day six)

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

There is a reason the ninth commandment is you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor, rather than you shall not lie. The former makes a clear connection between the truths (or lies) we speak and our neighbor. False witness is never spoken in a vacuum, but always lands on someone, always leading to a disconnected relationship or community.

God’s plan for his people was a community that knew and trusted each other. He had no desire for a fractured, disconnected people rising out of closed-door gossip, or back-alley grievances. When you boil it down, I think God is saying, “Stop talking ABOUT your neighbor; talk TO your neighbor.”

So, the next time you have a grievance against someone don’t rush to gripe about them to someone else, or pass judgment too quickly, rather go to them, and as much as it is up to you, seek to make things right.

Author: Danny Panter

Danny is the Associate Pastor for NextGen Marrieds & Community Missions at FBCSA.

3 thoughts on “Disconnection”

  1. This is a good word, Danny, and makes a huge difference in both personal and work relationships. Thank you!

  2. Great distinction between lying and bearing false witness in Prov. 6:16-19 — and God’s attitude toward both of them. Thanks for bringing this out, Danny.

  3. We need to be concerned about dishonest communication. Dishonest communication will lead to mistrust. When there is a mistrust or when there is lack of trust, all communications will eventually die down and eventually will shut down.

    Trust is a core ingredient in all relationships and in everything we do as a family, a community and as a society. Trust matters more than anyone can imagine. Without trust, and once we are disconnected, we cannot survive, grow, and thrive as a community and society. Telling the truth, considering what is right and necessary to build an honest and open community and society and being honest to ourselves will give us the peace of mind, and can save lives!

    Mutual trust between members and neighbors allows for open communication and extraordinary cooperation to flourish. We should be concerned if there is a disconnection among members!!

    Trust and distrust affect what we believe about other people and how we interpret other people’s actions and intentions. Trust and distrust are attitudes that affect the way we think, feel, and act. Without trust and trusting relationships, even the most conceived plan can fail!

    We want to be able to trust each other, to give each other reliable and relevant information, to have good will toward each other, to give each other honest and sincere advice, and to tell each other when things are wrong or are not up to established and agreeable standards. Feelings of alienation and distrust are often the consequences of acts of incivility.

    Good topic for discussion!

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