Monday, January 19, 2009
Football, Rest, and Confessions-8th Commandment-Large Catechism
"You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor"
No one can hide from this commandment! One of our confirmation students said, "So, are you saying that gossiping about someone is a sin?" After I told her yes, she said with a sigh of guilt, "Ohhhhh....we do that every day." I directed her to know that individual confession and absolution is available after class!
This commandment for me is known as the unhealthy triangle. Person one disagrees with person two. Person two tells five other people and those five people change their perspective on person one. In the meantime, person one apologizes to person two and they are now reconciled. However, those five people still do not like person one because they still think person two is upset. Thus, gossip, rumors, and conversations that should be between the first two people change the perspective that was unneeded.
As Luther says so well, "Therefore, if you encounter an idle tongue which betrays and slanders some one, contradict such a one promptly to his face, that he may blush; thus many a one will hold his tongue who else would bring some poor man into bad repute, from which he would not easily extricate himself. For honor and a good name are easily taken away, but not easily restored."
We see how quickly idle tongue can cause the view of our neighbor to be destroyed and those rumors are not easily washed clean (if ever). This is one of the hardest commandments, but also one that we as Christians need to uphold with the utmost of integrity. Our society tells us that we can tell many people about other people (look at politics), because if something is true, it should be known. However, even if something is true, we should respect and love everyone according to their identity as a child of God, to not tell anyone if it would hurt their reputation. And how hurtful is it when people are saying things about you that hurts your reputation? There is nothing worse.
Do we all sin on this one? Yep. The question then is, how do we uplift this commandment and follow it faithfully in every day life? I want concrete examples! And individual confession and absolution is available to everyone if you need!! :-)
Homework: 9th Commandment