How can this be that the God of truth has never brought against me a false or conclusively damaging testimony? Even when my Counselor reveals a deficiency in my life, it’s done with such love, hope … and the ability for change.
WOW! How, why … and to what end does he cover me so? How can this be?
When I give a “false testimony,” it’s typically done with some type of self-advantage in mind; fortunately, it’s an act that easily finds forgiveness and hoped for rectitude through repentance and God’s righteous testimony over my life – the latter possible because of Christ’s “good confession.” When Timothy made his “good confession,” through baptism, it was done with an awareness that his new life in Christ would be represented by a process of dying to his old ways that he might rise to walk in newness of life. Jesus’ “good confession,” before Pilate, culminated a sinless ministry model that started at his baptism and ended upon the Cross. Here’s my prayer based on the Ninth Commandment (“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”) and my passion to be more like Christ, everyday and in every way.
LORD, I confess you as the God of Truth. This day, may the Counselor, the Spirit of truth, work in and through my life to others. Help me to be your witness, a testimony of your goodness, one who by word and deed brings praise to your name and good not harm to my neighbor. Thank you for your “good confession” over my life.
Jesus, you alone walked on earth as “the Amen, the faithful and true witness.” On that cross, you became wrong that I might become right. False testimonies were made against you, then; today is no different than that infamous day, other than the fact that embarrassingly my life, all too often, gives ample justification for my need of your salvific work. You walked that lonely Golgotha road, all along the way with me in mind saying, “I love you so much, you’re to die for!” Shepherd of my soul, the Pioneer and Trail Blazer, lead me deeper into your way of truth and life. You died and rose that I might have a good testimony spoken by you over me but also that your triumphal procession in my life would loudly testify to your faithful love. I find no condemnation from you, in Christ, but instead intercession and a love that won’t allow anything to separate me from your goodness. Wow! Talk about a good, impactful testimony. Jesus, there’s nothing like your affirmation, perspective, and declaration: you alone seamlessly and flawlessly made and still make the “good confession.” You did not nor do you ever bring a false testimony against me! I worship you. Thanks!
Does your words spoken into my darkness also shine through me to others? Where am I preventing this from happening?
God, may I abide in and grow towards this life of Christ, whose declaration towards me, others … is all that matters. May I join with your love that died and rose again, so that others may also hear, personally and daily, your good report over their lives: loved by God! May no “unwholesome conversation come out of my mouth but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those that listen.” When I’m maligned, may I commit these things to you – Lamb of God, Advocate, and Judge. “Keep my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking lies.” May I not “repay evil with evil or insult with insult but with blessing, because to this you’ve called me so that I might inherit a blessing.”
No one is like you, LORD. As for my family in Christ, who am I to bring a charge against those you intercede for and have chosen? LORD, help me to “pay attention to the plank in my own eye” rather than the speck that’s in my brother or sister’s eye. I really need help in this area. Even on the days I testify well, I only see, hear, and understand in part.
You’ve taught me that what we innately think about and how we instinctively live is a strong indicator of our character. LORD, I grew up hearing that actions speak louder than words, but in your world either words or actions expressed minus love are nothing but disruptive noise, a clanging symbol. Transform me and allow your love that “rejoices with the truth” to flow from the inside of me out to others: harmonize the meditations of my heart, the words of my mouth, and the actions of my life so that they flow from and are all in sync with your unfailing love; remove hypocrisy, please. Let me too make that “good confession.” Per your counsel, I know that from the “overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Lord, only you can tame the tongue; cleanse my inner person; renew me and freshly fill me today, with your “spirit of power, love and self-discipline,” so that from today’s overflow of my heart might come a “good confession.”
O God who hears, give me today an ear to hear, so that I can think and declare and practice whatsoever is excellent and praiseworthy, regardless of the setting and temptation to do otherwise. I don’t want to lie nor live a lie, so help me to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove.
On the one hand, may I not join in an evil cause, by word or deed, nor hold my tongue or hands when you’re calling me to be a truthful witness. May I not call good evil or evil good, nor tolerate or approve of those who do so. When injustice and wickedness come against the innocent and helpless, may I join with you to defend the latter and stand against the former, even as those who “deceptively” sheltered Jews from harm during WW II. Just like those who harbored these persecuted Jews, to their own peril, but also bore a wise and true witness towards both your name and their neighbors, may I do likewise.
On the other hand, keep my thoughts and lips free from gossip, slander, rash judgments, and the misrepresentation of either a situation or person. May I also not express truth unseasonably or maliciously to a wrong end; instead, may I either speak your timely words of truth or otherwise be silent. May I also promote sincere love between others, as I desire, work towards … and rejoice in my neighbor’s good name. Towards this end, may I cautiously receive an evil report but gladly a good one; LORD, help me to be “peaceable and considerate … showing true humility towards everyone”; allow me to be your ambassador of peace and enable my relationships, conversations, and agreements to be truthful, sincere, and grace filled. When such things are not the case, may I be repentant.
This day, I choose to stand upon but also take refuge in your thoughts about both me and the people and things I’ll encounter. I also ask that you send me forth, today, empowered to imitate your “good confession,” which is only possibly for me through my connection to you. “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let my foot be moved; he who keeps me will not slumber.” I honor you, God of Truth, sustainer and purifier of souls, my loving God, my fortress; you alone see matters clearly and love perfectly. “My eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign LORD.”
(Lev 6:1-7; Deut 5:20; 19:15-21; Ps 19:12-14; 34:22; 62:7; 59:9, 16-17; 121:1-3; 141:8; 145:8; Isa 65:16; Jer 10:6; Matt 7:1-6; 26:59-66; 27:11-14; Luke 6:43-45; John 7:38-39; 10:11-16; 14:16-17; 16:7-11; 18:28-40; Acts 6:11-15; Rom 1:18-32; 8:31-39; 12:9; 17-21; 15:1-7; 1 Cor 13:1-3; Eph 4:15, 29-5:2; 5:18; Phil 2:1-11; 4:8-9; 1 Tim 2:6-7; 6:11-16; 2 Tim 1:7; Tit 3:2-3; Ja 3:1-12; 1 Pe 3:8-18; Rev 3:14)