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The Forgotten Commandment

The Veggie Tales Video Series was created to introduce key biblical principles to children in an entertaining, yet simple manner.  The Fib from Outer Space and The Rumor Weed use a spiritual superhero, Larry Boy, to address common mistakes people make in life.  While some Bible scholars may claim the writers of these videos have sinned, using Deuteronomy 4:2 as their source of condemnation, this point of view neglects the forgotten commandment.  In a rush to judgment, millions daily break the 9th commandment with one sided testimony.

The word false refers to giving information not based upon fact or truth, deliberately attempting to deceive or sway individuals toward their side of the story.  Synonyms for false include distorted, erroneous, fallacious and incorrect.  Thus, whenever anyone gossips about an event from their day, any slight exaggeration of the actual encounter is an uncivil attack against their neighbor.  In God’s eyes, this is an act of disobedience against one of God’s own creations.

As my daily devotion took me through Exodus 20, my heart cringed when the words of verse 16 struck a cord with my soul.  As a person who doesn’t like confrontation, I often find myself complaining to my wife about others instead of trying to resolve these matters.  Subsequently, I forgot the true meaning of the 9th commandment, “You shall not give false testimony about your neighbor.”  Though most of my beefs have origins of truth, the drama king inside stretches the truth, thereby leading me into sin.  May the words of James 3:1-6 serve as a reminder of mankind’s fallen nature to guard our tongues from breaking the forgotten commandment.

by Jay Mankus

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