In Sunday School we were looking at Stephen’s trial in Acts. We looked at the “false witnesses” that came forth to accuse him. We took time to see what the bible says about false witnesses. At one point I asked everyone if they had ever lied. All of our hands went up. Then I asked them if they had been a false witness about something to intentionally hurt that person. As we all scanned our memories no hands went up. That is because this is something God has inserted into our psyches by giving us one of the 10 commandments that says thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
The bible declares the need for et least two witnesses. When only one witness presses a claim against another person, the council is to diligently examine the claim to see if it is true. This is where we get one of those “eye for an eye” options meaning that if the witnesses’ claim shows itself to be false the very punishment that they were seeking to bring upon the target of their testimony will fall upon them. Kind of puts a damper on being a false witness. (Just as an aside, another “eye for an eye” is the damage to an unborn baby when a woman is jostled and miscarriages; whatever damage happened to the unborn child will be returned upon the jostler).
I found the difference between lying and being a false witness to be sobering truth in the age we live in. That was the truth. While substituting one of my charges made the comment that he could tell that I used to smile a lot by the wrinkles on my face. I had to explain that it was true and with a nod and a smile towards the teacher I said the smiles seem to be dissipating as I grow older.