A faithful witness does not lie,
But a false witness will utter lies.
What happened to Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. happened to my husband. Several months back, John was doing some work around the house and ended up locking himself out. He then proceeded to use other means to enter. As a result, a neighbor called the police. Once they arrived they handcuffed John and held him face down on our concrete driveway. He was explaining to the officers his dilemma and said he had ID to prove this was his residence. They were reluctant in allowing him do so. When they finally did, they were not pleased with what he presented and asked for more evidence. It was a terrible experience, but was eventually resolved. He was hurt and disgusted. Two things were evident: we lack relationship with our neighbors and regardless of the law you are guilty until proven innocent.
My husband’s incident and the incident with Professor Gates should make us all mindful of both our citizen and Christian witness. Of course we understood the urgency of stopping a person breaking and entering our home. We appreciate our local police department’s ability to act fast, especially since we live in a rural county. It could have been life or death for John if someone was attempting an attack while he was at home. However, there were children watching. The situation attracted a crowd of witnesses. Witnesses are around us everyday. At work, school and yes even watching our front porch. They are there when we think no one is watching, and the same goes for when we are watching and others don’t know.
Often times, Christians view witnessing as sharing the Gospel of Christ only. It is truly so much more. A faithful witness is the truth to an otherwise unknown and misunderstood situation. When our witness is off or wrong, we should immediately correct how we formerly understood. If we don’t we become a victim to pride and lies. False witness is against the commandments of God. We can start by talking less about people and things we don’t know and sharing without wavering in the unadulterated truth we do. The impetuosity of this culture is dangerous, and unfortunately the children of God react just as rash as anyone. We should stand out and be an example. Discipline our mouths to speak truth and our ears to accept it.
I live by this scripture when I even consider anything but the truth as it stands:
“There is a way that seems right to man, but its end is the way of death.” So just because we think its right, that does not mean it is. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life! It is the truth that set’s us free.
So let us take inventory. How do you feel about your citizen and Christian witness? How can we become honest witnesses and humble when our witness is wrong?
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