It breaks my heart how often we violate this commandment in the name of piety.
The Eighth Commandment.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
What does this mean?--Answer. We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, or defame our neighbor, but defend him, [think and] speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.
How hard it is to always think, speak well and put the best construction on everything. I fall short on this so often and yet Christ has spoken the best construction on me and all redeemed sinners. He has spoken, declaring me and all the redeemed to be righteous for His sake and this is none of my own doing. He has furthermore clothed me in His robes of righteousness through the waters of Holy Baptism (Gal 3). When we insist on thinking ill of others, especially fellow believers, we do not believe our God's word which has spoken us to be forgiven, redeemed, justified and sanctified.
One of my favorite verses from my favorite hymn - Thy Strong Word
Thy strong word bespeaks us righteous;
Bright with thine own holiness,
Glorious now, we press toward glory,
And our lives our hopes confess:
Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia without end!
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