#9 Watch Your Mouth

"You shall not bear false witness" reads the ninth of the Ten Commandments. Simply put: Make sure that the things you say are truthful -- don't dishonor God and hurt others by lying.

Some people re-define the word "lie" so that it doesn't sound so bad: half-truth, exaggeration, white lie, fib, etc. Regardless of the fancy terms, you can remember that if it isn't 100% truth, it is 100% lie.

That doesn't mean you should always say everything you know to every
person: you need to exercise wisdom as you speak. Some people don't
need or deserve the whole story. However, anytime you knowingly mislead someone
regarding an issue they need to know about, you're violating the ninth
commandment. Paul, one of the writers of the Bible, explains:

"Each of you should put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his
neighbor, for we are all members of one body....Do not let any
unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for
building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those
who listen" (Eph. 4:25, 29).

Why should we be truthful?

1. Lying hurts people in the long run.
If we are obeying the "Golden
Rule" of Jesus (Do to others what you would have them to do you), then
it makes sense to tell the truth.

2. Lying breaks God's law.
People who lied in the Bible faced serious consequences (Acts 5 has a good example of this).

3. God is truthful.
One thing God cannot do: He cannot lie. If our
purpose in life is to be like Him, we have to avoid lying. "Do not lie
to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its
practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in
knowledge in the image of its Creator" (Col. 3:9-10).

Practice the Commandment: Becoming a truthful person is a choice.
Rather than trying to cover up the truth for whatever motives you may
have, remember that if you love God and other people, you won't lie.
Ultimately, liars are always found out. Perhaps its time to have a
heart-to-heart talk with a family member, friend, or co-worker.
Speaking the truth can set you free.


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