About a month ago someone told me they heard me say “…” about a year ago. I told them I had not said that. This past week someone asked me what I preached about two weeks ago. I could not remember. If that is the case, and it is, then how would I know I had not said something a year ago? The answer is what they said I said I do not believe and never have. Therefore I know I didn’t say it. This makes life amazingly simple. I’m sure you remember the adage, “If we practice to deceive, what a tangled web we weave.” When you make up stuff you have to labor to remember what you said as to not contradict yourself and eventually get caught in the web of your own prevarications. No such problem exists if you always say what you believe because while you will not remember what you said you will remember what you believe.
Now let me add this does not mean you should always say everything you believe. Being kind and courteous means that you must in certain circumstances hold your tongue. Only a fool says everything they believe. Most often when we say someone “tells it like it is” means that person was rude, unkind. When I read a letter of recommendation for someone I am careful to look for what was not said, which can be much more important than what was said.
It is fascinating that the ninth commandment says, “Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” It does not say, “Thou shall not bear false witness for thy neighbor.” Hence the Christians heroes who did not always tell the truth that they might spare the lives of their Jewish neighbors during the Holocaust.
Written by Roger Bothwell on January 24, 2016
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574