Elul 13 The importance of the WITNESS
In the Bible the concept of two witnesses appears in many places. From the sighting of the new moon to signal the beginning of the new month, to convicting someone in trial, to Revelation where we see the two witnesses testifying about God’s reputation. A witness was to have the utmost integrity. The commandments prescribe that if anyone provides a false witness against their neighbor that the punishment the person on trial was to receive they would receive in return. God is truth and we are called to not lie but, “tell the truth...the whole truth...and nothing but the truth!”
I believe this extends outside the courtroom to even the church hallways. I believe it applies to gossip and even speculations about why a person does what they do. I believe that when we assume we know what a person is saying but do not clarify and then pass that information on we could be guilty of a false witness.
Are we deliberately misleading or leaving out information for our own gain? Are we making accusations without the proof to back them up? When you pass on information that is second hand that you were not a ‘witness” to, you could get the facts wrong and be considered a false witness.
This commandment challenges us to be careful with how we use our mouths to spread information about others. Are you thinking before you speak about how a little distortion in the truth can damage a reputation or put a negative spin in someone’s mind about a workplace or ministry or person?
What you say matters. Idle words will be judged. False words will be judged.
Follow the season of Teshuvah during this Month of Elul with Guest blogger Denise Dee Lytle Gibbs who originally posted these blogs on her Facebook page Fall Feast Prayer Initiative.