"You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour." Exodus 20:15
"Do not spread false reports. Do not help a wicked man by being a malicious witness." Exodus 23:1
"The first to present his case seems right until another comes forward and questions him." Proverbs 18:17
"He who answers before listening - that is his folly and his shame." Proverbs 18:13
"A perverse man stirs up dissension and a gossip separates close friends." Proverbs 16:28
"It is to a man's honour to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel." Proverbs 20:3
"A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much." Proverbs 20:19
"Drive out the mocker and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended." Proverbs 22:10
"Do not testify against your neighbour without cause, or use your lips to deceive." Proverbs 24:28
"What you have seen with your eyes do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbour puts you to shame? If you argue your case with a neighbour, do not betray another man's confidence, or he who hears it may shame you and you will never lose your bad reputation." Proverbs 25: 8 - 10
"Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer by who meddles in a quarrel not his own." Proverbs 26: 17
"An angry man stirs up dissension." Proverbs 29:22
"A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies." Proverbs 12:17
"He who guards his lips guards his soul, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin." Proverbs 13:3
"A false witness will not go unpunished and he who pours out lies will perish." Proverbs 19:9
"Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is the man who gives false testimony against his neighbour." Proverbs 25:18
"Whoever slanders his neighbour in secret, him will I put to silence …" Psalms 101:5
"He who conceals his hatred has lying lips and whoever spreads slander is a fool." Proverbs 10:18
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice." Ephesians 4:31
"Remind the people to … slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate and to show true humility toward all men." Titus 3: 1-2
"The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire and is itself set on fire by hell." James 3:6
"Therefore rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind." 1 Peter 2:1
"One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offence he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime, the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the Lord before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. The judges must make a thorough investigation and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, you must purge the evil from among you. The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid and never again will such an evil thing be done among you." Deuteronomy 19: 15-20
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
This article is adapted from a chapter in Character Assassins – Dealing with Ecclesiastical Tyrants and Terrorists. The audio CD of the sermon preached on this subject is also available from Christian Liberty Books, PO Box 358,
Howard Place 7450, Cape Town,
South Africa, Tel: 021-689-7478,
Sin and Interpersonal Relationships
When All Men Speak Well of You
Learning From Failure
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"Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets."
It is interesting how, in spite of all the warnings in Scripture against gossip, slander, and tale bearing, just how much stock we tend to place in people's opinions. It is said that where there is smoke there is fire. However, the smoke may be no more than dust and hot air.
As Mark Twain observed: "A lie can travel halfway across the world while truth is still getting its boots on!"
The great Baptist preacher, C.H. Spurgeon, warned: "Believe not half you hear; repeat not half you believe. When you hear an evil report, halve it, then quarter it, and say nothing about the rest of it."
The great Reformer, John Calvin, declared: "No greater injury can be inflicted upon men than to ruin their reputation."
Thomas Brooks taught: "Of all the members in the body, there is none so serviceable to Satan as the tongue."
"The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire and is itself set on fire by hell."
All of us, at one time, or another, have been guilty of gossip. Yet, it is sin. God takes gossip seriously. The Ninth Commandment is there for a very good reason.
The Bible says that:
"Whoever spreads slander is a fool…"
We are commanded:
" Brothers, do not slander one another"
Pastors are to
" remind the people …to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility towards all men."