Telling the Truth

"Do not testify falsely against your neighbor." —Exodus 20:16

Some years ago, a book called The Day America Told the Truth was published. According to the authors' findings, 91 percent of Americans lie on a regular basis. "The majority of us find it hard to go through a week without lying," the book states. "And one in five cannot make it throughout a single day without lying." Apparently, we are a lying culture.

While some people consciously lie, many others try to couch the truth with a little diplomacy because they don't want to offend someone. But God's Word has a lot to say about lying, and Proverbs 6 includes it in a list of things God hates:

There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord among brothers (verses 16–19).

Notice that three of these seven things are closely associated with the ninth commandment: a lying tongue, a false witness who pours out lies, and a person who sows discord among the brothers. From this, along with the command not to testify falsely against our neighbor, we can safely conclude that God hates lying.

God is the source of all truth. Jesus said, " 'I am the way, the truth, and the life . . .' " (John 14:6). He is the embodiment of truth. Scripture also tells us that it is impossible for God to lie (see Hebrews 6:18).

In dramatic contrast to this, Satan is described as "the father of lies" (John 8:44). So when we lie, we are behaving more like children of the devil than children of God.

Copyright © 2008 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

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