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  • Writer's pictureSt. John's Lutheran

Caring For Your Neighbor Can Even Mean Not Criticizing of Your Spouse!

Daniel 3:8-12 New International Version

8 At this time some astrologers[a] came forward and denounced the Jews. 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! 10 Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Tuesday - August 10

In Martin Luther’s Small Catechism he explains that the 8th Commandment is not simply about lying. It is about helping to maintain the reputation and honor of others. Luther writes: “We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.” While the group in this story did not lie about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, they did scheme to destroy their reputation instead of defending them. How can we better care for our “neighbor” in speech? Maybe it means not criticizing your spouse to others? The criticism might be true, but it might also be harmful, especially to your relationship.

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