You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. Exodus chapter 20, verse 16.
What is the opposite of dishonesty? Let’s try this on for a size: “You shall be honest and forthright.” How would that work for a commandment? If you think about it, that’s what the message of the message of the ninth commandment really is. When God is telling us to not lie, He is also telling us to do the opposite. God is imploring us to follow the path He lays out by His word and His example. Can you imagine how much less complicated the world would be if we would simply do that?
Think about it: honesty really still is and always is the best policy. Perhaps you’ll agree with me when I say that I can’t think of a single good consequence that comes out of lying. Sure, we can self-justify and say “yeah, but it saved someone else’s feelings” or “it prevented something worse.” While you’re standing there, all pretty and justified, don’t you hear “two wrongs don’t make a right” talking through your conscience? The lie and the cover-up that goes with it: they’re those two wrongs. And you know this: EVERY lie brings a cover-up along with it.
Wouldn’t it be better to just realize that Jesus really does know what He’s doing when He implores us to be honest and forthright instead? To me, the cover-up that goes with the lie is even more disheartening and even more damaging. Someone close to me wrestled with this very thing just this past weekend, insisting that the lie that had been told to them was much, much more hurtful because of the cover-up – and the continued, compounding lies – that resulted from it.
Are we any different? You know the answer.
When I think of Jesus talking to me, I think of Him speaking through my conscience. To some folks He speaks clearly and directly. But I have rarely had that experience. Instead, I believe His Spirit speaks to me through my conscience, through the tool He gave to me to empower my choices. With every one of those choices comes the imperative to tell the truth or not to. It’s not the choice that’s difficult: it’s what I do with it. Living more in Him now, I choose to stick to the truth.
That truth is fundamental to everything. Without truth, what is there to rely on? “Veritas. Quid est veritas?” In his worst moment, Pontius Pilate didn’t know what to do with it…and Jesus was (literally) standing right in front of him. Centuries later, Jesus is still standing in front of you and me and everyone we know, speaking words of truth, honesty, and wisdom. What is truth? Jesus is truth. Speak Jesus and lies will never result.
Savior, speak Your truth from my heart, through Your words, to everyone.
Read Exodus chapter 5, Pharoah get’s ticked off.