“A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaks lies shall not escape.” PROVERBS 19:5
Today we will look at the Ninth Commandment: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). Should a Christian ever tell a lie? There are times when we may find ourselves in the difficult position of realizing that telling the truth may have dire repercussions. For example, you are asked by a Nazi if you are hiding any Jews in your home. Should you tell him there are two under your bed? To do so would result in their sure death. Your choice is to lie and save lives, or tell the truth and be a party to murder. Another example is putting “tourist” rather than “Bible smuggler” on your visa into China, or not telling the police in a persecuted country the names of other members of your underground church. Perhaps the answer is that it is the motive that matters. However, the issue depends on the conscience of each individual.
The dictionary defines a lie as a false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood; something intended to deceive or give a wrong impression. People often claim that they have told only a “white lie.” But there is no difference between a white lie, a half-truth, a fib, or an exaggeration. All are lies in the sight of God.
How many murders does one have to commit to be a murderer? Just one. In the same way, if they have told even one lie, no matter what color or size, that makes them a liar.
The Ninth Commandment requires the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. God is a God of truth and His Law demands absolute honesty from the heart. Yet the human heart is deceitful above all things.
This devotion was excerpted from The School Of Biblical Evangelism, chapter 13, beginning on page 90.