Do not tell lies about others." ~Exodus 20:16
"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." ~ "Don't say anything about another person that you wouldn't say to their face." ~ "Speak the truth in love." We have heard these quotes since we were children, and we spoke them to our own. These timeless messages can be woven into the ninth Commandment, "Do not tell lies about others."
There is a common theme here ~ keep a guard over your mouth. I can recite these quotes over and over. But I still slip up. I speak without thinking. Once the words are out there, my regret can't bring them back.
Even today as I began to contemplate this Commandment, I found myself engaging in a conversation that I couldn't be sure was based on fact. I wasn't "telling a lie", but is it really any different if I'm unable to back my words up with actual facts?
When there is discord in our home, no one is happy. Until the conflict gets resolved, we all feel the tension. Is this not true in the bigger picture as well? How often do we create discord by words carelessly thrown about?
"Speak the truth in love." Words bathed in love for the benefit of the other person that are based solely on truth are more likely to generate peace. How do I get this to sink in so it will dictate how I speak? Maybe by asking myself how it would feel to be on the receiving end of my words. Putting myself in the other person's shoes is always an eye opener. But I want it to be a tongue tamer too.
Building healthier relationships is a top priority. How I speak has a huge impact. "Do not tell lies about others." ~ "Speak the truth in love." God knew we'd need a reminder. May those words engraved in stone be engraved in our hearts as well.
"So let's agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don't drag them down by finding fault."
~Romans 14:19, The Message
"Truth for Lips
Prayer for Voice
Sympathy for Eye
Charity for Hand
Love for Heart
Smile for Face."
"It's all about compassion. Talk less. Love more."