Daily Devotionals for September 17
Proverbs: God's Wisdom for Daily Living
28 Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.
29 Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.
Proverbs 24:28-29 (AMP):
28 Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause, and deceive not with your lips.
29 Say not, I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for his deed.
Thought for the Day
These verses elaborate on one of the Ten Commandments: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour" (Exodus 20:16). To bear false witness is to attempt to deceive a legal court by lying about someone. Man needs God's Law because man's sinful nature causes disagreements, hard feelings, and the desire for revenge. The Lord commands Christians to live peaceably with others and extend grace to them. "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled" (Hebrews 12:14-15). We are not to return evil for evil, but to bless our enemies and do good to them. We are not to seek vengeance on wrongs that have been done to us in the past, or bear false witness against others. "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it" (1 Peter 3:8-12).
God will bless us when we obey His Word, whether or not our opponents acknowledge or appreciate our right actions. Vengeance alienates people, whether neighbors, fellow-Christians, or enemies, and an offended brother is harder to win back than a strong city (Proverbs 18:19). We cannot win the lost to Christ nor help a Christian in error if we exact vengeance upon them for hurting us. "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:19-21). God knows how to deal justly with every person.
If we are wise, we will learn to guard our mouths and not say things we will later regret. It is possible to be wrong, even when we are right, by having a wrong attitude. If we want to be leaders in the church, we must not enter into strife with others, but deal gently with everyone. If we ask, God will help us to do this and cause His goodness to flow through us. "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth" (2 Timothy 2:24-25).
Prayer Devotional for the Day
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