Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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January 2 – A Destructive Weapon In Your Mouth

“A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.”  Proverbs 25:18

 Devotional Thought For The Day

The point of the proverb is that just as weapons of war inflict great harm and even death, so the tongue, when bearing false witness against one’s neighbor, inflicts great harm and possibly even death.  It is not that the tongue in itself is evil, but rather the focus is on the use to which it is put – and the one wielding it for the purpose of destroying another.  Obviously if the consequence of such false witness is evil, the action itself is evil – judged by its consequence, and the one committing such action must also take responsibility for what they have done, for being evil.

This type of “false witness” against others occurs all the time, and we are by no means immune to it.  First, there are the many occasions when we are so opinionated, and so swayed by and set in our opinions, that before we know it we are “manufacturing” and asserting things about others that we cannot possibly know.  Second, there are many times when we leave off assertion of false witness and only use innuendo – linking people to certain evils and simply allowing others to make the connections in their own minds [which is part of our sinful propensity to do, to think the worst of others].  Perhaps the worst form of false witness is when we are so hateful and malicious toward another that we are eager to hear and accept false witness against them, and don’t really care whether it is false or not – the gossip is readily accepted and utilized as a violent weapon of harm and destruction of another.

This “false witness” was one of the weapons used against our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ leading to His crucifixion.  While all of this occurred as part of God’s larger plan of redemption, we all recognize that this aspect of our Lord’s trial and conviction was horribly wretched.  This alone should keep us from all temptations to act similarly against others with false witness, or even gossiping and publicizing true things about our neighbors which destroy their reputation.  We also hear much “false witness” about God, almost on a daily basis – if we read a lot or interact frequently with others.  It angers us when we hear others malign God [Who is love, and Who has never done anything inconsonant with love to any human being]; surely we should have the same anger toward anyone who is so bold as to lie about or ruin the reputation of those whom God loves, those whom Christ died for!

We know the power of our tongues, especially when they are bearing false witness or gossiping – and we perversely enjoy wielding this power against others.  We have much to repent of, much to confess in humility to our Heavenly Father, and a lot of hard work to curb and control both our sinful minds and how we use our tongues.  Thankfully, God forgives us all our sins, including the wrenching harm we have done to others with our tongues.  May we seize His mercy for these sins also – and may the joy of His gracious mercy, forgiveness, and love, move our hearts to kinder thoughts about others, how we may protect them and build their reputation. Obviously, all of this also extends to our use of electronic communication – email, websites, newsletters, texting, etc.  Pray also that God protect us all from the “war club, sword, and sharp arrow” of those who have sold themselves into hatred and malice toward us.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, we pray not only that You forgive us for all false and malicious sins which we have committed with our tongues, but also that You would strengthen us in love for one another, and teach us to control our tongues, to use them only for good and blessed purposes.  Protect and preserve us from the viciousness of others, who eagerly use their tongues to hammer blows against us.  In this age of mass information, help us to relearn the importance of always distinguishing truth from error, and what is good from what is harmful.  Amen.