18 ¶ A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.
God’s condemnation of being a false witness against your neighbor is all through the Bible and we’ve discussed it previously. One of the Ten Commandments is about this subject.
Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
A maul can be a heavy sledgehammer like tool to drive in tent stakes or a tool with a wedge shaped head on one end for splitting logs. A sword cuts and an arrow pierces. So, a false witness bludgeons his neighbor, cuts his neighbor, and pierces his neighbor. False witnesses not only tell lies about other people but impugn their motives as well. It is not just that you made up something that someone else either didn’t do or say but you tell others that whatever your neighbor did, they meant something entirely different and it probably wasn’t good. You rarely are a false witness on behalf of someone in that you make up good stuff about them. Almost all of the time when you are going to be a false witness it is destructive.
You lie about political leaders you don’t like, imposing viewpoints and motives on them that you have no idea of the truth or falsehood. Democrats say Republicans WANT to destroy the country in favor of the rich. Republicans say that Democrats WANT to destroy the country to remake it into a socialist state. No one in today’s political world can be patriotic but misguided in belief. They have to literally want to see America fall. We always know not only what the other guy does but we know what he intends to do.
We bear false witness against our family and friends and the more paranoid of us will impute evil motives against ourselves to the most trivial action of virtually anyone we know. Sometimes a false witness is one for a deliberate reason like those against Naboth in 1 Kings 21:13 and against Christ in Matthew 26:60, 61. Much of the time, though, for Christians it is the stating of things you do not know against a person based on your own negative assumptions. This spreads around a church body like a fire and can split congregations and drive people from the assembly.
Beware of what you assume without knowledge. Be even more wary of what you repeat to others without knowledge. This is one of Satan’s methods of destruction of Christian testimony and it is clearly against God’s own commandment under any dispensation, repeated clearly under the doctrines given to the Christian specifically by the Apostle, Paul, under the wisdom given to him by God (2 Peter 3:15).
Romans 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.