I'm giving the 10 commandments a closer look by blogging about one of them each Friday. Scroll down for the last nine blogs on the topic.
This week I'm thinking about the ninth commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
You know all those rumors you hear about others? Part of keeping this commandment would be not to forward those on to others. Fake news. Spreading lies about your neighbor. And yes, our neighbor is really everyone. After all, the world is pretty small nowadays.
But, what if the ugly rumor is true about that person? Keep the ninth commandment and don't forward those on either. Why? Well, this is where your spiritual perspective comes in.
Man--that includes every man, woman, and child--is the spiritual representative of the all-loving God, good. You could say that man is God's reflection. Now, when you think about a reflection, you might consider beautiful trees on the bank of a still lake. The lake is like a mirror and the image of the trees are reflected perfectly. The image on the water looks just exactly like the original.
In the same way, since we all are God's image, we must be just as glorious as He is. In fact, Jesus left this command for all of us today. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). Of course, he wasn't talking about human perfectionism. He was asking us to see ourselves and others as God's whole, perfect, and spiritual likeness.
So, how does this fit in with loving our neighbor? To not see our fellowman falsely, we have to look beyond the surface of things and see them as God's image, in other words, spiritually. You may wonder how you would even begin to do that. It helps to take a really close look at the original, God, to see what our true nature as His image is like. I love this description that Spirit, or God, gives of Himself in the textbook of Christian Science.
"I am Spirit. Man, whose senses are spiritual, is my likeness. He reflects the infinite understanding, for I am Infinity. The beauty of holiness, the perfection of being, imperishable glory, — all are Mine, for I am God. I give immortality to man, for I am Truth. I include and impart all bliss, for I am Love. I give life, without beginning and without end, for I am Life. I am supreme and give all, for I am Mind. I am the substance of all, because I am that I am" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 252,253).
Following that description of God, we can see that everyone is reflecting, or expressing beauty so holy it can't be marred; perfection that is never mixed with imperfection; and glory, shining so brightly it will never die out. You and your fellowman include the unending joy, bliss, and vibrancy of eternal life.
So, keep the ninth by being willing to look beyond the material surface of things, which includes limitations, character flaws, and imperfection. God has commanded that you not bear false witness, so go ahead, see the true concept of God and His loved reflection wherever you go!
See you next week for commandment number 10!
I hope these insights will inspire readers to think more spiritually about themselves and the world around them!