2004-09-24 - The Ninth Commandment
The Ten Commandments, Part 9
Exod 20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor (NASB)
What if I asked you "are you an honest person?" I believe most of us would answer affirmatively. Most of us aren't guilty of identity theft, Nigerian e-mail scams, or other such crimes of deceit. But how does honesty flesh out in our everyday lives?
In my work in the Criminal Justice system, I hear people bearing false witness every day. They lie on the witness stand - to deny guilt or to keep a loved one out of jail. Witnesses make written statements and then change their stories, accusing the police officers of "railroading" their loved ones and pressuring them to lie (as if the police had that much time on their hands, and didn't have their hands full already!). When they get caught up in their webs, they don't even realize how transparent their deceit is to everyone else.
Most of us reading this wouldn't perjure ourselves. But in our own ways, we violate the spirit of this commandment. Do you ever "stretch the truth" to make yourself look good? Do you try to blame others for mistakes, rather than taking responsibility? Do you ever call in sick when you are feeling well? Do you practice selective honesty, telling only what you want people to know, and conveniently leaving out something unflattering to yourself?
I encourage you (and myself) to ask God to show you little pockets of dishonesty in your life, and what He wants you to do to ameloriate that.
Comments or Questions?