Commandment #9: Don’t LIE!

Commandment #8: You Shall Not Steal
July 25, 2012
Commandment #10: Do not covet
August 16, 2012

Commandment #9: Don’t lie!

“You should have seen it, mom! Judy got in so much trouble! The teacher hit her, pulled her hair and then threw her out of the classroom!”

“Really?” gasped my astonished mother. “REALLY?” Mom’s eyes were big as saucers.

Sensing her interest, and seeing an opportunity to embellish, with a corresponding opportunity to be in a spotlight (albeit, one confined to the dinner table at home), I continued telling the story of how Judy from across the street was wildly disgraced and mistreated in front of my entire 2nd grade class that day.

The  story, however, was completely untrue.

Well, not completely untrue. Judy did get mildly reprimanded for some minor infraction. I don’t even remember what it was!

I embellished that story looking for validation and attention. But my brother Sean heard my story and carried it to his entire class the next day. It was just a matter of milliseconds before the story made its way around to other students, to their parents, to the teachers, to MY parents, and of course, back to me, by way of my parents. Boy, oh boy, did I get in a HEAP of trouble for crafting that lie!

Was the lie worth it? No. It never is!

The 9th commandment is clear. Ex 20:16 says “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” In other words, Maureen, don’t make up stories. Don’t lie.

Lying is so harshly criticized throughout the bible. The words are severe. Proverbs 19:9 says “He who pours out lies will perish.” And to lie is to identify or align yourself with Satan himself. John 8:44 reads: “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Lying puts us clearly in the devil’s camp.

Besides that (as if that’s not enough!) what’s the harm in lying? Lying accomplishes a few things.

  1. It breaks God’s heart.
  2. It gives Satan a foothold and/or a victory.
  3. One lie usually begets another, creating a ripple effect that’s hard to undo.
  4. It breeds gossip. A juicy, but fabricated story takes on a life of its own.
  5. If found out, it cultivates mistrust, and fosters judgments from others. Your reputation is slaughtered.
  6. It creates distance and diminishes intimacy in relationships.
  7. It’s exhausting. Keeping a lie a lie takes a lot of energy!
  8. It creates internal unrest. The conviction of the Holy Spirit can put you in a headlock.
  9. It creates spiritual numbness. If you ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit, you will grow insensitive to the Holy Spirit.
  10. It creates a temporary sense of power, but it’s just an illusion, yet another lie. You are actually in bondage, not in a position of strength.

There’s probably a dozen more evil things lying accomplishes. Flat out, it’s destructive! God always honors truth. He honors a clean heart. He will bless a person who takes the high road of honesty. Even if it’s a hard uphill climb, take the high road!

John 14:6 says “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Choose to align yourself with the God of truth, not the author of lies.

Maureen Zappala
Maureen Zappala
Maureen is the founder of High Altitude Strategies. She’s an ex-NASA propulsion engineer, turned professional speaker and author. She’s a semi-regular contributor to the monthly Toastmaster magazine. And paradoxically, is co-writing a book about Ohio State Football history, (despite being a graduate of U of Notre Dame). Go Bucks. Go Irish. Go figure.

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