Exodus 20:16: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
Why should the simple act of telling the truth be so hard?
The ninth commandment reminds us not to lie. We all know the virtues of telling the truth:
- The truth clarifies
- The truth verifies
- The truth emphasizes
God Despises Liars
And while the truth can hurt it is always right to tell it. Because every time we tell a lie we move farther away from God.
Proverbs 11:5 reminds us that the “Godly are directed by honesty.” When we give our moral compass over to God, He will direct our lives, bringing hope when there is none. He will bring healing where there was pain and truth where there were lies.
There are greater consequences to lying, than whether or not we get caught. David in Psalm 4-6 makes God’s position very clear about lying when he declares that the Lord will destroy those who tell lies. Next David pairs lies with murders and tells the world that God despises these people.
The Lying Has to Stop
Clearly, if we want to be on the right side with God the lying has to stop. But how? Our nature and the world around us promotes deception. Look at any ad in a magazine. The amount of airbrushing that goes on deceives all of us that we can possibly look like those individuals, when those models or celebrities don’t even look like that. Commercials, movies, and television demonstrate lying as an acceptable thing to do to “save face” or “protect someone’s feelings.”
Yet, as Christians, we have to learn to overcome the temptation to lie. It can be frustrating at times. Fear is often the biggest emotion to overcome when we face the desire to lie. Yet we must always keep it in our hearts and minds that there is a way to tell the truth that is good. We cannot allow ourselves to give in to our weaknesses and lie. It takes practice, but it can happen.
How to live the 9th Commandment
Kelli Mahoney is an experienced Christian Youth worker and published writer. Blogging on the website About.Com, she outlines several practical ways we can begin living the 9th commandment in a life without lies.
- Think first.
Sometimes we lie to give an answer to someone quickly. Instead take a deep breath and think about how to say the truth in a tactful way.
- Keep it real.
Lies aren’t always full untruths. Sometimes we exaggerate or stretch the truth a bit. Even stretching the truth is lying, because there is an element of falseness to it. Sure, we may want to make ourselves look better, but that is selfishness and fear speaking.
- Set things right.
We have all given into temptation from time to time and lied. We need to try to make it right with the people we have lied to and be willing to face the consequences.
- Learn tact.
One of the reasons we lie is to protect our friends. Learning to be honest with loved ones can take time, but what it mostly takes is tact. There is a way to be honest that comes across with integrity and love. If your friend looks terrible in green, say so, but say it nicely (“Jules, you know, this would look so much better in blue,” for example).
- Know the truth hurts sometimes.
Just because you choose to tell the truth doesn’t mean it will always be accepted with open arms. Some people may be hurt by what you have to say. It happens. In the end, though, most people will appreciate the honesty rather than the lies.
Anyone who hates you for being truthful probably has some issue with what’s going on in the first place and doesn’t want the truth at the moment. Yet the fear of someone not wanting to hear the truth should never stop us from telling it. Sometimes God uses us to highlight wrongs in other people’s lives.
Final Thoughts: God will help us handle the truth
There is no problem too big for God. We can stop the lies, the deceptions, and the sin that accompany these actions by simply asking God for help. Start by praying this prayer with me:
“Father, I am a liar and I want to stop. However, I don’t know how and I need your help. I surrender my life to you to change me, and make me into the truthful person that you intended me to be. Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for your grace and Thank you for your love.”
In Jesus name I pray Amen
Help to Stop Lying
The temptation to lie is a struggle that many of God’s people including me suffer from. However, we don’t have to go it alone, I welcome the opportunity to pray with you and to keep each other accountable. Feel free to send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org . This is my personal email viewed only by me. I welcome our dialogue.
Also See: Have You Been Lied To?
©Copyright 2014 Marben Bland │
Marben Bland is a business strategist professional speaker and writer. Specializing in assisting business with the acquisition of human and financial capital along with the strategies required to succeed in the marketplace. Find more post at www.marbenbland.com