The ninth Commandment

The Ninth Commandment – Part 1

Good day to each of you reading this column on the Ninth Commandment. The great importance of this commandment is that it effects the relationship between neighbors. In essence, how to get along with your neighbor and not let gossip, slander, or false reports effect your relationship.

As you think about the Ninth Commandment, here is something else to think about—One day I hopped in a cab, and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My cab driver slammed on brakes, just missing the other car by inches. The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.

My cab driver just smiled and waved very friendly at the guy. I asked the cab driver, “Why did you just do that? He almost smashed our car and sent us to the hospital!”

My cab driver turned to me and asked me if I heard about ‘The Law of the Garbage Truck.’ No, sure haven’t, I said. Ok, he said, many folks are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it, and sometimes they dump it on you. Don’t take it personally, just smile, wave, wish them well and move on. Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other folks at work, home or on the streets.

Bottom line—Successful folks don’t let garbage trucks take over their day. So, love the people that treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t. Life is 10% what you make it & 90% how you take it! Have a blessed, garbage-free day! From the Law of the Garbage Truck! That reminds me of a great song that I listen to by Glen Campbell—Try a Little Kindness—Take a listen to the words, it’s a catchy song that you can hum thru the day.

The ninth commandment is: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor Exodus 20:16 (FF)—To bear false witness, according to Definitions, is a verb and it means to give an untrue testimony or to lie.

The Wycliffe Bible Dictionary reads the following for Exodus 20:16—The Ninth Commandment. “Not only is lying prohibited, but false and unfounded evidence in general” (KD). God has set the relationship between men towards the good name and reputation of their neighbors.

Before we examine the many ways of bearing false witness, let’s go the source—the tongue—The tongue is mentioned 129 times in Strong’s exhaustive concordance—Let me provide some wise words—Psalms 34:13 – keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Proverbs 6:16-19—There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that detestable to him; haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. Proverbs 17:4—A wicked man listens to evil lips; a liar pays attention to a malicious tongue. Proverbs 26:28 – A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.

The above examples show that God hates those who have a lying tongue, a false witness who pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. Bearing false witness derives from the tongue, so let us turn to James 3 on the taming of the tongue.

James 3: 3-6 & 9-10: When we put bits into the mouth of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships for an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.    

In summarization of the above, turn with me to Matthew 15:17-20 and read what Jesus says about the whole matter. “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things make a man unclean. For out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what makes a man ‘unclean’ but eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean.’”

Jesus explains there is a root or origin where bearing false witness as well as other evil thoughts reside, and that root is the heart. How many have you become so angry and so built up that you must get that matter off your chest? Relief, at the time and then, did you wish you could take that back? The matter begins as a thought and then more thought and more thought and builds in the heart till the point where the heart must be relieved and relieved by coming out of the mouth. But look further into these verses and notice that Jesus is not talking about unclean food or unwashed hands but unclean thoughts and motives.  

As we conclude the first part of the Ninth Commandment, please remember that matters begin with the heart, spoken by mouth and await a reply.  Bearing false witness against your neighbor can take many forms such as a spoken word, shaking your head, shrugging your shoulder, lifting your eyebrow or implying a name. The old saying, Action speaks louder than words comes into play when making false claims against your neighbor.

May God Bless you and keep you safe and remember the Garbage Truck to assist you for attitude is like altitude—this depends on high you wish to go.


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