The following is from Luther’s Small Catechism. Notice how he takes the eighth commandment (Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5, Romans 13), interprets the negative aspect, and then he gives the positive aspect.
The Eighth Commandment
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
What does this mean?
(The Negative) We should fear and love God, so that we do not lie about, betray or slander our neighbor, (The Positive) but excuse him, speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.
—-How Do We Apply This In The Internet Age?
How needed this commandment is in a day when people believe everything the internet spews out about a person and in turn spews it out to others, thus spreading false witness globally in a matter of seconds! But technology hasn’t altered God’s command – even if it means winning elections by using such evil means!
Imagine if people quoted this commandment to his or herself before writing, saying, or posting negative reports. Bear witness, yes. A witness deals with FACTS and EVIDENCE. When you speak without these you are bearing False Witness. When you bear false witness you are not walking in love. “For this,” says Paul, “Thou shalt not bear false witness…is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
Once again, Love wins!