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“Walking in Wisdom” Wednesday

Stop with the “mean girls” mentality:

It’s not a suggestion, it’s a COMMAND

“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor” is the Ninth Commandment found in Exodus 20:16. Many of us know it, yet we are playing a dangerous game, walking the line of observing and violating this command.

One thing I learned in the Marine Corps is a lawful order is not a suggestion when given by a superior, it is a command!  If you break this commandment down, we can conclude that this command has meaning beyond the main text: we are not to slander the character of another to personally gain.

Sadly, society today views this as more of a suggestion than a command.  We have people protesting with the goal of tarnishing the character or public opinion of another.  It seems our entire political process has become nothing more than a yearlong slander-fest.  We have Christians violating this very command in the comfort of their own living rooms over a cup of coffee.

A common trend here lately is for believer’s and non-believer’s alike manipulating scripture to better fit their own lifestyle and desires.  You don’t have to spend much time in reflection to recall the last time you heard or read someone quoting scripture to justify their own agenda.  At the same time, we also very quickly blame God for what’s going on in our world today.

“If God loves us so much, why does he allow bad things to happen?”  How many times have we heard this question?  If I may, I would like to offer a simple, yet challenging answer.  Could it very well be that God is not to blame, nor has he ever been?

If we, as mankind, cannot even keep the simplest of commands, one’s like “don’t gossip about others to make yourself feel or look better”, then why would he bless us?  Think about it parents, when your children defy you, how quick are you to reward them over discipline them?  Further, we violate this very command, the Ninth Commandment, when we manipulate God’s word to justify our own choices.  The truth is, God does love us, and like any good father, he mourns the state we find ourselves in today.  God allows bad things to happen because we stray from him and have consequence for our bad choices.

In the very beginning, God gave mankind the ability to think for themselves, to make their own choices.  When he created Adam in the very beginning (Genesis), he could have easily prevented him from following through with his decision to eat from the tree.  However, what honor would there be in creating someone to immediately follow you?  A mark of a true leader is motivating others to follow you of their own free will, not being forced to follow you.  Maybe, just maybe God is not to blame for the “bad” in this world.  Perhaps it’s time we face the music and own up to the fact that evil exists in this world as a direct result of our own decisions.

Why do we continue to slander God’s character when all he has done is allow us to choose freely how we will live our lives?  It seems to me that the time for us to take responsibility for our own choices has long passed.  Stop blaming God, and others for the decisions you make; this may be news to you, but there has always been, and will always be consequences for them.  Start treating this commandment, and others, as exactly that, a command. – BB