Yelp and the 8th Commandment


I enjoy Yelp. I’m not the best Yelper, but I enjoy the process of reviewing places and acting as a guide for people trying out a place for the first time. Recently I have also become a Google “Local Guide” which is basically the same thing as being a Yelper, but with Google. It does cause occasional issues for me, however. You see, I’m a Lutheran pastor, and that means that I believe in the 8th Commandment. 

This past Sunday we confessed the 8th commandment:

“What is the 8th Commandment?

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.

Occasionally, I go to a place that it is hard to review positively. Thankfully, that IS only occasionally, but it does happen. When that happens, I want to be honest about my experience for two reasons: 1. I want the person who owns/manages the business to recognize that there may be some areas of improvement 2. I generally want people to have a good time – and I don’t want them to waste time at a business where they’ll have a terrible experience. Quite frankly, it’s easy to be honest about these places without the 8th commandment – but it’s more of a challenge to “explain everything in the kindest way”.

I mean, you don’t want to lie, but you also don’t want to not tell the truth (yes, double negative, fully aware).

Of course that makes me wonder what it would be like if God wrote Yelp reviews about us. Yikes!

But here’s the thing. God does. But it’s not what you would expect. It’s like God goes to Cypress (I’ve been once, it was phenomenal) and writes the review, but He posts it to YOUR “restaurant”. God takes His review of Jesus – the picture of the immaculately prepared and executed (literally) experience, and gives it to us.

But then is God lying? No. It’s sort of like the show “Bar Rescue”. God comes into your life, and He starts to address the problems. The nasty and uncleaned gets cleaned. The management gets fixed. The stealing out of the till stops. The place gets set right. It gets set to the level of the review. And sure, it’s going to take a while before all of that stuff takes effect. Some of it won’t even take effect until we get to the resurrection. But God still posts the perfect review, right now.

And if God can do that for us, I think we could be a little more fair about our reviews.

By the way, if you want to post a review of University Lutheran, especially on Google or Facebook, we would really appreciate it – and it would help a lot of people get interested enough to come and check us out in person:

Click here to Review University Lutheran on Google

Click here to Review University  Lutheran on Facebook