Monday, September 19, 1994


Read: Zechariah 8:14-17




"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbors."


Exodus 20:16


How prone we are to lying! With a stoke of exaggeration here, an

omitted detail there, or a misleading silence we distort the

truth. Yet truth is the foundation and superstructure of all

relationships. Remove the girders of truth, and society crumbles

in on itself. This moral absolute is so self-evident that even

criminals punish their own who lie to them.


The ninth commandment forbids purposeful deceit against our

neighbor and underscores the sacredness of truth in all our

dealings. The two Hebrew words used for "false" in Exodus 20:16

and in Deuteronomy 5:20 mean "untrue" and "insincere." Bearing

false witness against our neighbor, therefore, is an expression of

insincerity and untruthfulness.


This commandment also exposes two underlying motives that God

hates-- malice and pride. When we lie, it is usually to cast a

person in a bad light or to place ourselves in a good light. The

first springs from malice, the second from pride.


Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 13;6).

The closer we are to Him, the more truthful we will become with

ourselves and with others. The question is, "Are we followers of

Him who is the truth?"  -- DJD


Lord, cleanse my heart of all deceit

And teach me what is true;

Help me to have integrity

In all I say and do. -- Sper


Thought for the Day


 Nothing weakens the truth more than stretching it.