How prone are we to lying! With a stroke of exaggeration here, and omitted detail there, or a misleading silence we distort the truth. Yet truth is the foundation and superstructure of all relationships. Remove the girders of truth, and society crumbles in on itself. This moral absolute is so self-evident that even criminals punish their own who lie to them.
The ninth commandment forbids purposeful deceit against our neighbor and underscores the sacredness of truth in all dealings. The two Hebrew words used for “false” in Exodus 20:16 and in Deuteronomy 5:20 mean “untrue” and “insincere.” Bearing a false witness against our neighbor, therefore, is any expression of insincerity and untruthfulness.
This commandment also exposes two underlying motives that God hates – malice and pride. When we lie, it is usually to cast a person in a bad light or to place ourselves in a good light. The first springs from malice, the second from pride.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). The closer we are to Him, the more truthful we will become with ourselves and with others. The question is, “Are we followers of Him who is the truth?” – Dennis J. De Haan
Lord, cleanse my heart of all deceit
And teach me what is true;
Help me to have integrity
In all I say and do. – Sper
Nothing weakens the truth more than stretching it.
- September 19, 1994, Our Daily Bread