THOU Shall Not Bear False Witness

In our society today, telling falsehoods has become a way of life for many people. Take for example, employee dishonesty. How common is employee dishonesty? According to one recent survey: falsifying time sheets was admitted by 5.8% of workers. Stealing merchandise was admitted by 6.6%. Among people working in retail stores, 57% said they abused their employee-discount privileges.

The ninth of the Ten Commandments, found in Exodus 20, is: “You shall not bear false witness,” which is lying.

In Genesis 2:17, God commands Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit of the tree that He has reserved to Himself. He warns them that disobeying this command will lead to death. In Genesis 3: 1-5, Satan tells Eve to go ahead and eat of the fruit; she shall not die! This is the first lie recorded in the Bible and was the original sin carried out by mankind’s first parents, Adam and Eve. Therefore, the moment they disobeyed God, sinned, they began to slowly die. God’s warning took effect. Sin is the breaking of God’s word, written or spoken. (1 John 3:4.) Adam and Eve broke God’s spoken command.

A study from Australia found the following concerning the lies told most often. "Nothing's wrong, I'm fine," came in as the number one lie for both men and women; however, female lies appeared to skew more towards purchases, but male lies seemed to relate more to communication, The women would say: “Oh, this isn't new; I've had it for ages;” “It wasn't that expensive,” and “It was on sale” made up the next three top lies for women, who were “covering” for their shopping habits.

Dr. Phil, the TV , estimates that by the time a man is 60 years old, he's told more than 100,000 lies. When a woman turns 60, she's told 50,000.

Recently, there has been apparent dishonesty in political circles. The former Secretary of State said that she did not email any classified material to anyone on her email. The FBI Director testified that 110 emails in 52 email chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information.

After the former Secretary of State says that she "thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two," Comey is seen rebutting her – declaring that she “used numerous mobile devices to view and send e-mail on [her] personal domain.”

One observer following the case said that Clinton "has spent the last 16 months looking into cameras deliberately lying to the American people."

What are some of the damaging effects of lying?
1. Lying is a sin, and sinning has eternal consequences. (Ezekiel 18:20.)
2. It is destructive to the liar’s self-image.
3. Lying is destructive to the liar’s family, friends, and business associates.
4. Lying tears at the heart of society’s moral foundation.
5. Confidence is lost in the liar.
6. Psychologically and morally, lying causes anxiety, depression, and, sometimes, physical illness. Lie-detector tests confirm that the mind influences the physical body.
7. Lying strikes fear in the liar when he thinks about standing before his Creator, his Judge, on judgment day when his eternal future will be decided.

On the other hand, telling the truth has its positive rewards. 1 John 3:18 reads: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” Proverbs 11:3 promises: "The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 13:7: “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity."

What will be the eternal results of lying? Revelation 21:6-8 reads: 6)And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7) He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8) But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars (emphasis mine), shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death (FINAL).

Friend, honesty has many advantages both now and for eternity. May God give us the strength through His Holy Spirit to be faithful and honest!

 © 2005 Guthrie Memorial Chapel