Kevin DeYoung / Dec 11, 2016 / Exodus 20:16
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Sermon Summary / Transcript
Let’s pray. Lord, we pray now as Jesus prayed: sanctify us by your truth; your word is truth. Speak to us what you want to say, and give us ears to hear what we need to hear. We don’t want to waste our time, now that you have brought us here through the snow, so teach us, convict us, encourage us, and help us. We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.
This week, as we continue to work our way through the Ten Commandments, we come to the ninth commandment. This is God’s word to Israel, and his continuing word to us:
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Exodus 20:16
There’s an interesting pattern throughout the first nine books of the Hebrew Bible. I’m not sure if the pattern is intentional or coincidental (or if you just begin to find these things if you look hard enough), but it’s each of the books highlights one of the Ten Commandments through a particularly noteworthy case of disobedience—and it’s done (almost) in the order of the commandments.
Start with Genesis. Of course, at the very beginning of Genesis, Adam puts his wife, Eve, before God, and Eve puts the voice of the serpent before God. This violates the very first commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me.” And the punishment for their violation was death: “…in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” So they were banished from the garden.
Then you come to Exodus. If you were to wonder, “What’s the most flagrant example of Israel’s disobedience in Exodus?”, you’d likely think of the golden calf, which is a striking violation the second commandment. And what happened when they violated the second commandment? God sent the Levites, who killed 3,000 men; and he also sent a plague. So we see disobedience to a commandment, resulting in death.
Leviticus 24:10-16 (a passage I mentioned several weeks ago, in preaching on the third commandment) tells of a man who blasphemed the name of the Lord, a violation of the third commandment. The punishment was death.
In Numbers 15:32-36, there’s a story of a Sabbath-breaker who is executed for picking up sticks on the Sabbath. In the fourth book of the Bible, we see this egregious example of violating the fourth commandment.
In Deuteronomy 21:18-21, there’s a law that says: “If a son is rebellious, dishonoring his father and mother, you shall put him to death, executing him by the hands of the community.” There’s the fifth commandment.
When you come to Joshua, things are in a slightly different order. What’s a particularly noteworthy sin in the book of Joshua? It’s the sin of Achan, which takes up a lot of space both to talk about and deal with. After the battle of Jericho, Achan stole some of the devoted things (a violation of the eighth commandment). The result was that he was put to death.
Judges is filled with lots of egregious sins, but the worst of them comes at the end, when the men murder and abuse the Levite’s concubine. Then, in the morning, he cut her up into twelve pieces and sent her to twelve tribes, who say, “Never before has something like this happened in Israel.” The result is that they go to war with Gibeah (the clan) and Benjamin (the tribe), and slaughter their own countrymen. Again, a sin. This time, it’s a violation of the sixth commandment, and the result is death.
Now, you may wonder, “Okay—Joshua…Judges…but what’s in Ruth?” The Hebrew Bible has a different order than our Old Testament, and Ruth is at the end. In the Hebrew Bible, it runs from Joshua to Judges, then Samuel (1 and 2 Samuel together) and Kings (1 and 2 Kings together). Then the next book is Isaiah, and it goes into the prophets. So the first nine books give the history of Israel.
If you go to Samuel—again, if you know your Bibles, what’s the most infamous sin contained in the book of Samuel? It’s David’s sin with Bathsheba, which violates the seventh commandment. The result is that his son dies, and bloodshed comes upon the house of David.
Finally, we come to the book of Kings. There are lots of sins there, but one particularly noteworthy account comes from 1 Kings 21:
Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And after this Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money.” 1 Kings 21:1-2
Her we have the sin of coveting. If you know the story, Naboth says, “I can’t give you my vineyard”, so Ahab goes home and starts pouting: “It’s not fair that Naboth won’t give me his vineyard.” Then Jezebel comes along and says, “You’re the king. Why are you pouting? We can take care of this.” So they devise a plan. They throw a feast and put Naboth at the center of attention. Then, at just the right moment, there’s a man on his left and on his right who stand up and bear false witness against him: “This man cursed God and the king.” Since there are two witnesses, he’s put to death on the spot, and Ahab and Jezebel get to take the man’s vineyard after all. What happens as a result? Word comes to Elijah, who tells Ahab,
“Have you killed and also taken possession?” […] Thus says the LORD: “In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your own blood.” 1 Kings 21:19
Once again, there’s an extreme violation of the commandments, and the result is death.
You have this pattern in each of the first nine books of the Hebrew Bible—and in order (with the exception of Achan’s sin of stealing)! Now, I didn’t come up with this. I came across it several years ago when reading a book on the subject. You can think for yourselves: “Was this an intentional pattern? Did somebody organize the books like this later on? Was this God’s hand present in placing these stories just like this?” But even if it’s all a coincidence, it’s still a striking display of how seriously God treats infractions of the Ten Commandments. In each book, we have at least one flagrant example of disobedience; and in each case, it’s met with death.
This morning, we come to the ninth commandment.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Exodus 20:16
We often think of it as “Do not lie” (and that is the gist of it), but it’s specifically put in the context of the courtroom. Witnesses were everything in the ancient world. They’re important today, but we also have audio recordings, videos, fingerprints, and DNA testing. They didn’t have any of that. They had eyewitnesses. If someone wanted to stand up and accuse you of doing something wrong, and a second person stood up and said the same thing, your whole life could be in jeopardy.
On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses the one who is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness. Deuteronomy 17:6
Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 1 Timothy 5:19
These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace… Zechariah 8:16
What we see throughout the Ten Commandments is that each commandment often gives us the worst example of sinning in some way. For instance, murder is the worst way of sinning with anger in your heart, but Jesus tells us that it’s not the only way. You can also be angry. Or, adultery is the worst way of violating the seventh commandment, but Jesus tells us that if you lust after someone, you have also sinned. So, with the ninth commandment, the worst thing you could do was bear false witness in a court of law, where someone’s life could be snuffed out because of your deceit.
However, it doesn’t just cover courtroom infractions, but deals with all manner of falsehoods. Throughout the Ten Commandments, we’ve seen that God cares about justice. Why would he make laws against murder except that he cares about each person made in his image? Why would he make laws against stealing except that he cares about the right of private property? Here, we see that God cares deeply about verbal justice. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” just isn’t true. Lies hurt people deeply. This command was meant to protect marriages, property, life, reputation, and honor.
We’ve come to expect so little when it comes to telling the truth. We’ve just been through an interminably long political season. I think that we can all agree, no matter how we voted, that when a politician says something, we think, “Eh, I don’t really trust that.” Maybe we’re overly cynical, but that’s how we think. When they have a debate, we think, “I probably don’t believe most of that.” Then there are fact-checkers to check them—but the fact-checkers have fact-checkers to check their facts, since their facts are proven to not be very factual—and then you have bloggers who check the fact-checkers of the fact-checkers! And we don’t believe the whole lot of them.
When has been accused of or caught in something, and they get up and read a statement, our first assumption is: “How are they trying to spin this? What lawyer wrote this?” We don’t expect people to tell the truth.
We see lies in the Bible from start to finish. The serpent was the first liar. Jacob lied. Laban lied. A lie led to Christ’s crucifixion. Remember Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5)? They just made a little lie. They sold some property, and the proceeds to the church. What a nice thing to do! But they lied about how much they had given. They had kept some for themselves, which they had a right to do, but they lied about it. I can just see it: “Oh, Ananias and Sapphira! You have a great love offering here for the end of Christmas celebration!” “Yes, we sold a property, and we’ve given it all to the church.” But they gave half to the church, so God struck them dead on the spot for lying to the Holy Spirit.
We treat our words so casually and carelessly. We make wedding vows, looking him or her in the eye, saying, “I will love, honor, and cherish you until death do us part”—and then we find someone else. We get a little bored. We run into difficulty. Someone gets sick. Then our words just fly by.
If you said the words of our covenant to each other this morning, you promised to be faithful, to love one another, and to attend to the means of grace. I can tell you that none of the elders relish calling up members who have stopped coming to church. We didn’t sign up because we loved to pester people. But part of loving people is helping them to be true to the things they’ve promised.
What is required in the ninth commandment? Here’s what the Heidelberg Catechism says. It’s a great summary:
Q. What is the aim of the ninth commandment?
A. That I never give false testimony against anyone, twist no one’s words, not gossip or slander, nor join in condemning anyone rashly or without a hearing.
Rather, in court and everywhere else, I should avoid lying and deceit of every kind; these are the very devices the devil uses, and they would call down on me God’s intense wrath. I should love the truth, speak it candidly, and openly acknowledge it. And I should do what I can to guard and advance my neighbor’s good name. Heidelberg Catechism, Q. 112
Think about each of those phrases. First, “…never give false testimony against anyone…” The Hebrew language of the Old Testament time had six different ways of saying “false witness”, which occur in some sixteen different passages. This is not a small theme in the Bible.
Second, “…twist no one’s words…” Isn’t this easy to do? We don’t even have to try. We do it naturally. We know how to retell a story so that we’re the hero and they’re the goat—where we only emphasize the really mean thing that they said to us, but don’t say anything about the hard and hurtful things we may have said. We’re masters at passing along our interpretation of the events as if it were the facts. Whether we realize it or not, especially when we’re engaged in some sort of conflict, we intuitively know how to pass along information with a certain implied tone. We know how to leave out information and summarize long conversations in a way that makes us (or our side) look good and them (and their side) look bad. Don’t think that “spin” is just what famous people do. We all spin.
Thirdly, the ninth commandment forbids “…gossip or slander…” What is gossip? Gossip is passing along a report or rumor which cannot be substantiated. But gossip is more than that. We also gossip when we pass along a true report unnecessarily. Some of you may think, “I don’t pass along things I don’t know—but yeah, if I heard that someone had slept with someone, or someone just got fired from their job…I’m not gossiping. I’m just telling people the truth.” But you need to ask yourself: “Is it necessary to pass this information along to this person?”
We all understand that there are gray areas. I face this all the time as a pastor: “Is this something I should share with my wife? Is this something I should talk to the other elders about?” You may have similar areas of discretion. But you need to ask yourself: “Would the person I’m about to talk about be happy for me to pass along this information?” Now, if you pass along that they just graduated with honors, got a great new job, or won an award—yeah, that’s great. You can gossip good news. But would they be happy for this bit of bad news to be shared, even if it’s true?
Or ask yourself, “What am I going to do as a result of telling this third party about this other person?” I’ve found this true, sadly, in my own life (as you probably have in yours): it’s easy to make an intimate relational connection over secrets. People love secrets—especially juicy, bad ones. There’s no faster way to make a friend than to find a mutual enemy. So you begin talking about people. You’re “only saying what is true”, but is it necessary? What are you going to do after you’ve talked to this other person? Perhaps you’re really seeking out council as to how you can best love them, or developing a plan of action to go and speak or confess to them. But when in doubt, keep the circle as small as possible.
The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body. Proverbs 18:8
It’s wrong to gossip and wrong to listen to gossip. This is really difficult for us. Sometimes, you have to stop and say, “Time out for a second. I’m not sure if we should be having this conversation right now. I don’t mean to be critical, but I’m just not sure.” Sometimes our silence in the face of gossip is as sinful as the gossip itself. We just listen and take it in, when we need to instead do the courageous thing and say, “You know what? I don’t think we know all the facts. We need to stop right here.”
While gossip is passing along what you may not know, or passing along what’s true, but unnecessary, slander goes one step further. It’s deliberately passing along what is false. Jesus considered slander a serious sin:
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. Matthew 15:19-20a
We have lots of students and academics in this church. As Christian thinkers and academics, one of the things that we need to do is represent people’s ideas as fairly as we can. It doesn’t mean that we’ll agree. It doesn’t mean we can’t push back or say hard things. I’ve thought about this often as I’ve continued my studies: “What does it mean to do this as a Christian?” I’ve realized that if I am love my neighbor as myself, I must treat the people I’m studying as I would want someone to treat at me. I try to understand what others have said as best as I can, even if I intend to disagree with them. Sometimes, we make mistakes. Even though they’re bound to happen, let us not be quick to pass along unsubstantiated, false reports.
Slander also includes assuming the worst possible motives for other people’s intentions, and refusing to ever give people the benefit of the doubt. This happens all the time. Something happens to us, and we just assume that “She didn’t talk to me because she’s really mad at me,” or “The way he wrote that email, he must be thinking such and such.” We develop elaborate hypotheses and speculations, and when we tell other people, we pass it along as truth. “Oh man, she is so ticked off at me.” “How do you know that?” “Well, she hasn’t said this, and she looked at me this way.” Time out. Are you giving a true witness to your friend, or your brother or sister?
Fourthly, we should “not join in condemning anyone rashly or without a hearing.” As Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” It’s the one verse that everyone in our world knows, it seems. It’s abused, and we get that. Jesus isn’t saying that you have to turn off your brain—that you can’t be critical thinkers, and you can never make evaluations of people or of situations. What he’s saying is that the measure you use for others will be the measure used on you. If you jump to conclusions, form your opinions of people based on your first interaction, and reach conclusions without all the information, you can expect people to do the same to you. Paul warns against this kind of rash judgment:
Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. 1 Corinthians 4:5
One of the foundational points of Western jurisprudence is that you’re innocent until proven guilty. It’s a biblical idea. Proverbs says that we should hear both sides. When you hear one side, it seems right until another person comes along and gives the other side. We should want to hear all the facts of the case before we come to a determination.
I never been seated on a jury, but it seems like I’m getting summoned for jury duty every few months. When you go there, you sit in a room with 70 or 80 people, and the lawyers try to figure out who is going to be fair and impartial enough to sit on this jury. I actually remember how someone was sitting there one time. He was asked, “Is there any reason you believe you couldn’t be a fair and impartial juror?” And he said, “I’m really religious, so I’m really judgmental against people who do bad things. I don’t think I could be fair.” They said, “That doesn’t cut it. You can stay here.” Don’t try that!
At the beginning, the judge will often remind people of the presumption of innocence. If the judge doesn’t do it, a good defense attorney will. A number of times, I’ve heard the defense attorney ask questions of the prospective jurors which aren’t really intended to find a juror. He’s trying to tell everyone in the room some things that he wants them to hear. He’ll say, “What must I do for you to acquit my client of these allegations? What must I present before you in order for you to acquit him or her? The answer is: nothing. According to the law, this person is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty, so I don’t need to do anything. Instead, the prosecution needs to prove that this person is guilty.”
That doesn’t mean that we never make judgments or that we aren’t critical thinkers, but it does mean that we withhold a final verdict until we have as much information as we can, we don’t make judgments without cause, and we hope that people end up being better than we think.
This is a huge challenge in our day of social media and trial by Twitter. The pattern is predictable. It happens all the time, and it’s always sad and difficult. Some serious allegation is made against some person of notoriety or infamy—maybe a pastor, a doctor, a politician, a black man, or a police officer. Sometimes the charge seems credible; other times, like speculation and gossip. Either way, across the spectrum, trial by Twitter will ensue. People immediately begin to say, “What do you think about this? Why don’t you say something? You’re silent now, in the midst of all these allegations? Shame on you!” There’s this pressure to say something—to join right now in condemnation—or you don’t believe the victims and don’t care about justice.
It’s so hard, because if the allegations are proven to be true, it’s terrible, tragic, sad, and even horrendous at times. But if they’re proven to be false or misleading, it’s often too late. Somebody’s life and reputation are already wasted.
We must not condemn anyone without a hearing or without just cause, and that means that we must do the difficult, unpopular thing of saying, “Hold on. I know that looks bad. I’ve read the same reports you have. But I’m just going to say, ‘Let’s wait a minute. Let’s try to find more information.’” Courts can make unjust decisions. Church courts can make wrong decisions. We live in a fallen world. But patience! Don’t condemn without a fair trial or hearing.
Do you remember the 1996 Summer Olympics? I know that some of you weren’t even born then, but some of you do. I was 19 years old at the time, and I remember watching them. Remember the bomb in Centennial Park? Initially, they said, “Here’s this security guard, Richard Jewell”—remember that name?—“who saved people’s lives by finding a bag with some pipe bombs and he scattering the people in the area. It could have been so much worse.” He was hailed as a hero.
Then, as the FBI conducted their investigation, it wasn’t long until the hero became one of the prime suspects. Do you remember watching this on TV? The FBI went into his mother’s apartment on live television, searching, and they took away his pickup truck. It seemed for all the world that the hero was the one who actually perpetrated the crime.
Do you remember what happened after that, though? Until a few months ago, if someone would have said “Richard Jewell”, I would have said, “Oh yeah, wasn’t that the guy who people thought saved lives, but then it turned out that he did it? I don’t quite remember what happened.” He was completely exonerated. He had done nothing wrong. If you have 20 minutes this afternoon (your pastor won’t tell you do this very often), go watch an ESPN 30 for 30 short. It’s one of their little documentaries that’s 20 minutes long. It’s free on YouTube. It’s called “Judging Jewell”, and it’s about his case. As you watch it, you still think, “He did do it, right? Everything in the media suggests that he did it.” But he didn’t. We make these sort of judgments all the time with both old and new media.
The catechism then says: “Rather, in court and everywhere else, I should avoid lying and deceit of every kind…” It happens so quickly. I saw an example this week. It doesn’t matter who it was about so much as what it represents. Some reporter tweeted out something very negative about a very noteworthy politician. It said, “Can you believe this happened?” It had something like 4,000 retweets. Later in the day, he corrected it: “My earlier report turns out to have been in error.” Number of retweets: 350. Bad news travels much faster than good news. We must be careful to avoid deceit of every kind.
Some of us are compulsive exaggerators. It seems like a little thing, but it’s not. I find this temptation in my own heart on how far I ran, how many hours of sleep I got, how long it took me to shovel the snow, what sort of grades I got, what I ate, etc. Are you someone who can be trusted to represent yourself accurately in even the smallest details of your life?
We must avoid making promises that we cannot keep or do not intend to follow through on:
It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Ecclesiastes 5:5
The catechism says “…these are the very devices the devil uses…” The devil likes to exaggerate. The devil twists. The devil condemns without a hearing. The devil deceives.
“…and they would call down on me God’s intense wrath. I should love the truth, speak it candidly, and openly acknowledge it. And I should do what I can to guard and advance my neighbor’s good name.”
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 22:1
Most of us could recover much quicker if we lost our home, our cars, or our bank accounts than if we lost our good name. If you lose your stuff, people feel sorry for you and rally around you: “Let me love you. Let me help you. I can find you a job.” But if you lose your good name and reputation? Nobody wants to touch you. It can take a lifetime to build, and a single afternoon to lose. It takes just a few malicious people on the internet and scores of other people to believe it, and you’re done.
We delight in a certain poisoned sweetness experienced in ferreting out and in disclosing the evils of others. And let us not think it an adequate excuse if in many instances we are not lying. For he who does not allow a brother’s name to be sullied by falsehood also wishes it to be kept unblemished as far as truth permits. John Calvin – Institutes of the Christian Religion (ed. John McNeill)
The ninth commandment is about more than not lying. It is, as Jesus summarized, about loving your neighbor as yourself. If someone was twisting your words and sullying your reputation, wouldn’t you want someone else to say, “Whoa, hold on a second. I know him. I’m not sure if you have all the facts right.” Or, “I know her. Let me give you a little different perspective here.” Wouldn’t you want a neighbor to defend your reputation?
The ninth commandment, like the other commandments in the second table of the law, is about loving our neighbors as we would want to be loved. Do you seek the good of your neighbor, or is there part of you that likes it when they get knocked down a peg or two? We often feel a little bit better because they fell pretty hard. Inside, we’re kind of doing this: “I’m glad I’m not so bad. I was feeling bad today, but then I opened up Facebook, and there are worse people.” Do you want to protect your neighbor’s good name?
Why is telling the truth so important? It’s important because it is the nature of God himself.
And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret. 1 Samuel 15:29
What makes God God and not human? One answer is that he doesn’t lie—ever. “Let God be true though every one were a liar.” As Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” It’s the nature of God himself.
Conversely, what is the nature of the devil? He’s the father of lies. When you twist and deceive, you’re doing the very work of the devil. From the very beginning—“Has God really said…?”—he shows himself to be a deceiver. He doesn’t just use bold-face lies, but subtle half-truths and misleading statements. He presents the bait and hides the hook.
We live in a time when words are everywhere. They constantly bombard us. We read them, hear them, see them, and discount them. But God invented words. He communicates by words. He not only hallows the whole sphere of language and communication—he considers language to be, in some way, an extension of his character. What is it called when God comes to earth? John says it is “the Word made flesh.” God is present where his word is present. That’s how important language, speech, and true statements are. To reflect the character of God, we must speak true words, and take great pains to say the truth and nothing but the truth.
Some of you have seen “A Man for All Seasons”. I read the book, and saw the play and the ‘60s movie. It’s well worth watching, though there are a few jabs at Luther in there, because it was about Thomas More, a Catholic. But it’s really well done. There are many famous scenes, but the whole movie is really about Thomas More and his integrity to speak the truth. There was pressure on him to give credence to the king’s divorce and remarriage, and he wouldn’t say anything, because he didn’t want to condemn himself. He knew he could not commend it, but he just kept silent, and he suffered for it.
There is one well-known scene where his wife is angry with him: “Why won’t you just tell me what you think about the king and his marriage?!” And More says, “Imagine you were on the stand and someone asked you, ‘Has your husband ever told you what he thinks of the king’s marriage?’” His reasoning was, “Honey, I’m not going to tell you, because someday you’ll be put on the stand, under oath. I don’t want you to have to lie. I want you to be able to say, with complete integrity, ‘My husband never told me anything.’”
Then there’s a scene at the very end of the movie. If you ever go to London and get a tour of Parliament, you can go through the old Great Hall and see the spot on the ground where Thomas More was condemned. In this famous scene, there’s a young man by the name of Richard Rich who had been More’s friend. He comes as final false witness to lead to the execution of Thomas More. He claims that he heard Thomas More speak against the king (when he hadn’t). Then, as Richard leaves, Thomas notices this chain of office around his neck. It’s the red dragon of Wales. And then he says, in this famous line, “Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world—but for Wales?” No offense to any Welshmen here.
It’s important to speak the truth as a witness. Christ was led to the cross because of false witnesses. Stephen was the first martyr in the church because of false witnesses.
There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19
Have you ever noticed how often God claims to be his own true witness? In Hebrews, we read that he swears by himself that his promise is sure. Jesus claims that he does not need another witness, because the Father is his witness. In Revelation 1, Jesus himself is called a faithful witness. Jesus says the Spirit bears witness to him, and Paul says that the Spirit bears witness to our spirits that we are sons of God. So you have all this language about how important it is to be a true witness.
Then you come to this famous verse in Acts 1:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
In other words, God expects us to speak the truth and be a faithful witness, both in the courtroom and in all of life. There’s nothing more important than witnessing of Jesus in his death and resurrection. Our words must be trustworthy at all times—otherwise, how will people believe us when we want to give them the words of life? Why should they trust us to speak of eternal things if we cannot be trusted to speak of temporal things? The good news is that Christ is our witness against the devil, and that our summons is to be his true witness in the world.
Let’s pray. Father in heaven, forgive us. Our words are so casual, careless, and fraught with little lies and big lies. Change us. May we be a people who are resolutely committed to the truth. We pray in the name of Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life. Amen.
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