Work Hard To Keep Yourself And Others In Harmony With Congregation
‘A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. Proverbs 6:19’
God hates liars who testify falsely against others, and He hates proud pests that cause division in a church. He could have said He hated lies and discord, but He said He hates the ones doing these sins.
The LORD said, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Ex 20:16). God hates this sin, so He included it in the summary list of Ten. He knew the terrible damage a wicked mouth could do to others, and how little defense there is against it, so He condemned it forcefully. The Bible strongly attacks lying, false accusing, slandering, whispering, backbiting, and talebearing.
When men are tried for their lives, freedom, or fortune, it is imperative witnesses tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. God required at least two witnesses in all cases to protect from false testimony (Deut 19:15); if a man testified falsely in Israel, he was punished with the very judgment at stake, no matter how horrible (Deut 19:16-21).
A lying and false accusing mouth can cause enormous harm, for rape of reputation and character is worse than rape of the body in some respects (Ps 35:11-12). Physical violence is horrible, but allows for some defense and recovery; verbal slander and false accusations are worse, and there is very little defense against the long-lasting damage.
Readers beloved of God, it is your duty to be men and women of truth and principle (Ex 18:21). Carefully consider your thoughts, words, and intent before saying anything about others. Let your lips praise others rather than detract from them, and if you ever must testify regarding another, be scrupulously faithful and honest with every word (Pr 14:5).
God also loves unity, especially among His people (Eph 4:3-4). He hates those who openly or subtly disturb fellowship and peace (Rom 16:17-18). He condemns variance, debate, envy, implacability, emulations, evil surmising, strife, sedition, tumults, and whispering. Instead He commands and commends peace (Matt 5:9).
A chord is harmonious blending of coordinated notes; accord is agreement and harmony; and concord is the state of peace and agreement between parties. All three words are related, meaning agreement, harmony, and peace. But discord is an antonym, meaning absence of concord or harmony. It is disagreement, variance, dissension, and strife. Is your church as harmonious as it should be? Do you work hard to make all notes blend?
Wicked persons sow discord when they disrupt the harmony, agreement, unity, or peace of a church or other society by spreading the poison of division and enmity. They alienate the affections of men and stir up their passions against one another. They foment strife, contention, jealousies, and confusion by talebearing, insinuations, foolish questions, seditious doubts, forming of cliques, and other perverse means. These separatists are sensual enemies of true saints, and they do not have the Holy Spirit (Jude 1:19).
Beloved reader, choose to be the peacemakers the Lord Jesus blessed (Matt 5:9). Take every opportunity to promote unity and agreement; work hard to keep yourself and others in harmony with the congregation. Seek peace and pursue it (I Pet 3:11). Make the holy endeavour of peace and reconciliation a priority in your life (Eph 4:3).
Consider well the blessed Lord and His perfect conduct in light of these two sins. The Jews used false witnesses to condemn Jesus to death (Matt 26:59), but He is the faithful and true witness (Rev 3:14). The wicked Jews divided over Jesus and stirred up the Gentiles against the apostles (John 9:16), but the Prince of Peace destroyed Jew/Gentile enmity and made both one by His cross (Eph 2:11-22).