March 15th

3rd Wednesday in Lent

Day 13

You are not to bear false witness against your neighbor.

What is this?

Answer: We are to fear and love God, so that we do not tell lies about our neighbors, betray or slander them or destroy their reputations. Instead, we are to come to their defense, speak well of them, and interpret everything they do in the best possible light.

God wants to hold in check whatever is done with the tongue against a neighbor. This applies to false preachers with their blasphemous teaching, to false judges and witnesses with their rulings in court and their lying and malicious talk outside of court.  It applies especially to the detestable, shameless vice of backbiting, or slander which by the devil rides us. Oh this much could be said. It is a common, pernicious plague that everyone would rather hear evil than good about their neighbors. Even though we ourselves are evil, we cannot tolerate it when anyone speaks evil of us; instead we want to hear the whole world say golden things about us. Yet we cannot bear it when some says the best things about others.


For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue – a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursings. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. James 3:7-10


As a fourth grade teacher, one of my favorite lessons for my students is the thought that “your words have weight”. We often talk about how quickly and easily that words can come and slip out of our mouth and how often those same words that flew with effortless grace and incredible speed out of our mouths can suddenly take on a very heavy weight once they have been released. Your words matter. What you say to and about the people around you matters. We teach our young to control their bodies. They should not hit or bite or push. We also teach them by example. They are under our legs as we stand in the kitchen talking about our coworkers and they are sitting in the back seat as we express our frustrations to our partners. It is incredibly important that we continue to remember to guard our tongue and that we should not gossip as we head through our lives. It is also so important that we teach the young ones around us to do the same. We can do this through scriptures. We can do this through teaching but our number one most powerful tool to teach our young to guard and care for the words that come from their mouth is to thoughtfully and carefully do the same.

Lord Jesus, you have come as an example of the obedient and Godly life. Lead me by your Spirit to walk with you today and every day so that I may learn to become faithful in all things. Help me, I pray, to guard my tongue and continue to be an example of your kindness and grace. Amen.

Holly Oelkers

Put a coin in your bank for every time you make an angry or sad person smile today.