Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 24:28 Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause, and do not deceive with your lips. 29 Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for what he has done.”
Be A Witness of What?
So there is some good instruction to us here for relationships. First, “Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause”.
Are there times we should be a witness against our neighbor? Sure murder, abuse, theft… and other things… We are called to take a stand against wickedness in a million different ways… However not all of them need be us being a witness to the authorities against our neighbor… Most of the time we are called to be a witness to our neighbor about things true and good for their peace one on one in personal conversation. Most importantly how Jesus is the good new of great joy for them… That is being a witness directly to them with cause. But I really think the writer is simply saying don’t make accusations against your neighbor unless it is for good. Dont go stirring up trouble unless it is going to be for good and for Gods glory.
Next the writer says: “and do not deceive with your lips”.
So don’t make up things about your neighbor… Don't put them down or slight them to others… Don't be a complainer about them or a gossiper…
Finally it says: 29 “Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for what he has done.”
In Matthew 7 Jesus tells us the same thing not in the negative saying what we should not do but in the positive… Here's the way he says it.
Matthew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
If your neighbor has harmed you in some way… don’t do to them as they have done to you… rather show forgiveness and love the way the Lord has done for you.
Actually in Matthew 7 before Jesus said how we should love others he tells how God wants to do us good and not evil. He is our example.
Matthew 7:9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Then in verse 13 Jesus tells us about the best and greatest good thing that the Father gives those who have been given eyes to see what we should seek and ask for.
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
What is this narrow gate and how narrow is it really? It is only Jesus… It is not ourselves with all our effort to do good works… It is not buddha or mohammed or any way of thinking or doing… Its the one promised to bruise the head of the serpent when Adam and Eve believed him over God… Its the one who lived a perfect sinless life and did not have to pay the wages of sin which is death… Its the one who chose to die anyway not for his sin but ours. He is the one who imputes his righteousness to all who will delight in him, giving us fellowship with God. He is the one who defeated death on the third day and gives us the same power that raised him from the dead to have victory over sin as we walk with him. And as in his resurrection we will be raised up incorruptible forever with him no more submissive to sin with the death and sorrow and pain it brings.
So who is and how narrow is this gate: Jesus answers that question in: John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.