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.