“‘…These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbor; Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace; Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ Says the Lord.” (Zechariah 8:16-17 NKJV)
If you want a better society, you’ll follow God’s teachings. That might seem like too radical an idea for some because, after all, we have freedom of religion. Others might look at that first sentence and say, “Well, of course,” as if that was the simplest concept in the world. Zechariah shares some great concepts for living from God in this section: speak truth, stand for truth, justice, and peace, don’t think the worst of others, and don’t love the cleverness of twisting words to pull a fast one on others. Apparently the Jews didn’t learn that last lesson well, because Jesus had to deal with it when He taught us to speak plainly and let our “yes” be “yes” and our “no” be “no.”
Whether you’re an extreme legalist, or a practitioner of “hyper-grace,” you can’t object to these teachings from God. Whether you’re a zealous Christian or an avowed atheist, you have to agree that this teaching would make a better world. Imagine what would happen if we worked to promote truth, justice, and peace. What would happen if we loved others and didn’t try to take advantage of them? Too often we look at teachings like this and think of those other people who should follow them. If we’re going to change our world though, we need to take them to heart and be an example to others – first in the church and then to our world. We can make a difference in the future by the little things we do today.
Lord, we need You in our world. We need a world that thrives on truth instead of dishonesty, practices justice instead of oppression, and seeks peace and harmony instead of war and superiority. Begin making that difference through me.