The Ninth Commandment – Q&A #5

The Ninth Commandment
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour”

Question: What should you do if your group of friends will not stop gossiping?

Answer: If you are at the point where the falsehoods and gossip make you upset, and your efforts to tone it down have failed, it may be time to find some new friends. Gossips can turn on you:

“A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.” (Proverbs 16)

So, how do you choose better friends? Mary Baker Eddy writes:

“Take away wealth, fame, and social organizations, which weigh not one jot in the balance of God,
and we get clearer views of Principle. Break up cliques, level wealth with honesty, let worth be judged according to wisdom, and we get better views of humanity.” (S&H 239)

If you do become separated from all your friends for a time, there may be some needed lessons in store for you:

“Would existence without personal friends be to you a blank? Then the time will come when you will be solitary, left without sympathy; but this seeming vacuum is already filled with divine Love. When
this hour of development comes, even if you cling to a sense of personal joys, spiritual Love will force you to accept what best promotes your growth. Friends will betray and enemies will slander, until the lesson is sufficient to exalt you; for ‘man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.’” (S&H 266)

Practice: Today, be a friend who will not gossip. Do not stand there silently while others
gossip. Forgive those who may have spread rumors about you.

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume One: The Ten Commandments”
Copyright 2001)

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False witness - #5

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