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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 93

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From the Word: Therefore, putting away falsehood, each of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are all members of one another. (Ephesians 4:25) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Eighth Commandment

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not betray, slander, lie, or gossip about our neighbors, but defend them, speak well of them, and put the most charitable construction on all that they do.

Pulling It Together

In the strictest sense, we should not lie to or about our Christian brothers and sisters. No honorable reason denies this charity to all others. We should not betray, slander, lie, or gossip about the neighbor who lives down the street, a workmate, the president, or anyone. We are to think the best of them, pray for them, and when we cannot speak well of them, speak not at all. This is a spiritual exercise that we must practice, for we fail at it, must repent, and try again—and again.   

Prayer: Forgive me, Lord, when I break your commandments, and give me the courage and strength to keep them. Amen.

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