It’s not just that someone lies about someone else, but there are always consequences to those lies. In a courtroom, false witnesses can mean that judgment is brought against that person, even the death penalty. In the case of Jesus, that is exactly what they wanted.
But there are also many ways we can bear false testimony against someone–gossip, slander, malicious talk. This is false testimony and can harm them. It can harm their relationships. It can harm much.
I’ve been on the receiving end of this very harshly the last few years, and not one person has verified or asked a different story than the false “testimony” about me. I have paid the price for that. I have lost friends. I have lost a lot.
But yet, I can’t say that I haven’t done the same in my life. It’s not hard sometimes to believe something you hear about others. It’s not hard to pass this on in casual conversation. In fact, this is conversation, except for when we pass along something defamatory, negative or hurtful.
This is one much more hurtful than we understand. When it’s come against us, and when we intentionally or unintentionally speak against others.