“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.
No doubt the primary meaning has reference to answering under oath in a court of law. However…
‘Telling the truth in court is, of course, sacrosanct, but it would be hard to prove – or even imagine – that the more general associations of tale-bearing, innuendo and direct ‘character assassination’ are not equally prohibited. In imitation of the ‘God who does not lie’ (Tit.1:2), his redeemed should be people of the truthful word.’ Alec Motyer: ‘The Message of Exodus’, p.230.
We would no doubt agree that we should not tell lies about others. At least, I hope we would. But what about those stories we are prone to tell ourselves about what other people are thinking and doing? Maybe some personalities are more prone to this than others. I’m sure that at least some who read this will know what it is to invent stories and believe them. We suffer at our own hands.
Of course, it may well be that certain things we perceive are true. There may be an element of clear-sighted discernment involved. (Maybe even prophetic revelation). But it strikes me that we should not tell lies about others – not even to ourselves! May God help us.
As someone said, to despise truth is to despise the God of truth.
PRAYER: Lord, keep me honest. You know my weakness even better than I do. Don’t allow me even to lie to myself