Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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September 18 – Careful With Our Lips

“Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause, and do not deceive with your lips.” Proverbs 24:28

Devotional Thought For The Day

The first thought that came to mind when thinking about this proverb this morning are the many “paid” expert witnesses that to a large degree make their living by testifying in court.  However, most of these witnesses tend to be “defense” witnesses, arguing as to why guilt should be mitigated or completely removed – except in civil cases where some financial settlement is involved. I am certain that making money is not a reasonable or just “cause” for testifying against a neighbor; nor any selfish “reason” for that matter.

Absolutely forbidden, for any cause whatsoever, is using our lips for the purpose of deceiving others.  I’m sure that in some cases [especially among those who are “professional witnesses”] “expert” witnesses may attempt to do this – whether they are honest enough to admit it or not. The perversion of justice in courts of law through false and deceiving testimony is utterly reprehensible, and where it is tolerated God is sure to bring about just repayment.  Given that “advertising” is a form of testimony, the assertion that certain things are true in order to convince people to purchase the product or service, the proverb also applies – and God will judge and punish what has become commonplace and accepted today.  The same holds true for the “political ads” which we are currently inundated with – they are “testimony,” approved as true by the candidates.  Lord have mercy on them all – but there will be an accounting for all of our deceptive use of language.

Perhaps the problem being addressed was similar to the modern phenomena of those who are eager to have their “five minutes of fame.”  Desperate lawyers may boost the egos and self-importance of those willing to add testimony favorable to their clients cause, not only providing them with a place of importance in a case, but also “wining and dining” them.  Of course, ultimately the client will pay the bill for all of this – making the whole business seem rather untoward.  We too may be tempted – for the sake of friends, for self-interest, for ego – to either engage in a wee bit of distortion or even to pile on argument and testimony against another unnecessarily.  We may have had to endure this ourselves – and if so, we certainly recognize the wretched evil of this. In the next proverb we will consider one of the prime motivations for this – revenge for some wrong or slight we have suffered.

All of this seems simple enough, part of “Morality 101,” but it has become quite confused in our decadent times – the misuse of language for purposes of deception, whether for selfish reasons or for malevolent desires. Thank God that He has provided us with forgiveness for all sins, including the times we have used our lips for deception AND the times we have said things that degrade others unnecessarily. May He grant us wisdom to recognize this as sin and to repent, that we may also receive assurance of His gracious forgiveness.  May we also receive the wisdom of His Word, which elevates language as a gift of God to be used in keeping with His own character – with truth and love.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, forgive us for having become hardened in regard to the misuse of language for the sake of cheating or abusing others. Help us to see the damnable darkness of this – and turn our hearts toward truth and love. Grant us grace to use our lips only for the purposes of truth and love, and never for the unnecessary degradation of others. Amen.