God wants us to be incorruptible and totally honest and reliable as witnesses and judges

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From “Growing in the character of a disciple”: Chapter 9 – What is ‘the love of the truth’ and why does truth matter so much to God?

We saw in the previous chapter how the prophet Samuel was a completely honest Judge. Nobody in Israel could point to even one corrupt thing that he had ever done. What a testimony! That should be our standard. Most of us will never be judges, but we will probably be witnesses, at some point, whether formally or informally. When we are, we must be completely honest and incorruptible, not just 99% so:

19You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality; and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. 20Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land which the LORD your God gives you.

Deuteronomy 16:19-20 (RSV)

To take a bribe does not only mean to do so literally, i.e. to receive money corruptly as a judge or police officer. Any of us can also face the temptation to take a metaphorical bribe by agreeing to help someone who needs us to tell a ‘small lie’ for them, or to fiddle something for them, in return for some past or future favour. That is just as much a bribe as if money had changed hands. It has caused us to act corruptly.

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