The Ninth Commandment states that we are not to lie (Exodus 20:16). Lying is one of the six things that God hates (Proverbs 6:16-19. Proverbs 12:22). To lie is to NOT speak the truth typically with the intent to deceive. This includes slander which is the spreading of false reports to destroy the reputation of others; gossip which is the spreading of reports of things not validated to be true (i.e., rumors); perjury which is the swearing of an oath to things that are not true, exaggeration which is stretching the truth typically due to PRIDE and being hypocritical which is living a life that is a lie (1 John 1:6. 1 John 2:21), etc. So you say that you do not practice lying? How many of us have accepted a software’s End User Licence Agreement (EULA) that states we have read and understood it and yet we have done neither? If you cannot say, “Amen,” say, “Oh Me!” (Psalms 116:11)
An example of being hypocritical would be living before others in church on Sunday like you are an obedient disciple of Jesus Christ but then during the week living like the rest of the sinful world. In the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus repeatedly called a person that lives this kind of false lifestyle a hypocrite (from the Greek hupokrites – an actor on the stage of life) (Matthew 7:1-5. Matthew 6:2,5,16. Matthew 15:7-9. Matthew 22:15-22. Matthew 23:13-29).
Lying is also the saying of something contrary to what God has already said (i.e., truth) about any person, place or thing (1 John 2:21). God has said that Christians are as righteous as Jesus Christ is righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21. 1 Corinthians 1:30). Consequently, when we are talking about how bad a fellow believer is and how they do not meet the standards of what a Christian should be then we are lying (Romans 14:4). Why? Again, because we are speaking contrary to the Truth God has said about all believers, and God cannot lie (Titus 1:2. Hebrews 6:18). Interestingly, God may give you a “cover story” to avoid trouble when on a mission for Him (1 Samuel 16:1-5. Matthew 10:16). Note the God-given (i.e., not man contrived) cover story is not a lie but rather a true secondary objective that covertly masks the primary purpose of the mission.
The Law of Consequence for Violating the Commandment
Speaking the truth is the foundation of any relationship including the relationship of a leader to a follower. When a leader consistently speaks the truth then trust is developed, and trust is essential to leadership – without trust, a leader is doomed to fail. When a spouse lies, the marriage relationship is soon in trouble. When children lie to their parents the family suffers. When people lie as a societal norm, it will come to ruin. Furthermore, those that practice lying will become deceived by their own lies (James 1:22).
Also, the Bible has some stern things to say about those that practice lying (Psalms 5:6. Psalms 101:5. Proverbs 12:22. Proverbs 15:4. Matthew 12:37. Acts 5:1-11. Revelation 21:8. Revelation 22:15). Those that speak lies are submitting their lives to Satan the father of lies leading to destruction (John 8:44. James 3:5,6).
Hiding the truth is like attempting to hold a beach ball underwater. The deeper and longer you try to hide the ball in the water the harder it gets. Eventually, the ball will get loose popping into the air with fanfare and likely at the worst possible time in your life!
For nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing concealed that will not be made known and brought to light. (Luke 8:17. Luke 12:3. Mark 4:22)
The Opportunity of Blessing for Keeping the Commandment
The Bible also has some beautiful promises for those that speak the truth (Colossians 3:9. 1 Peter 2:1,2. 1 Peter 3:10. Ephesians 4:25. 3 John 1:2-4). Note that speaking and living the truth in LOVE is the way to grow up spiritually! (Ephesians 4:15) Again, realize that walking in love is how this commandment is fulfilled just like the 10th Commandment (1) (Romans 13:9,10).
However, realize that no person can tame their tongue only God (James 3:7,8). God tames our tongue by OUR choosing to renew our minds to His Word of Truth (Romans 12:2). This results in our spiritual hearts being full of truth (Matthew 6:21) and out of the abundance of our spiritual hearts our mouths speak (Matthew 12:34). We then talk in such a manner that results in Jesus not only our Lord and Savior but also our friend (Proverbs 22:11. 1 Timothy 1:5).
(1) Left-click on the underlined phrase to open another article in a different tab with more explanation.
Links to the entire series:
The Ten Commandments Series:
- The Ten Opportunities
- The Tenth Opportunity
- The Ninth Opportunity
- The Eighth Opportunity
- The Seventh Opportunity
- The Sixth Opportunity
- The Fifth Opportunity
- The Fourth Opportunity
- The Third Opportunity
- The Second Opportunity
- The First Opportunity
- The Null Opportunity