“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”
Exodus 20:16 (NIV)
“Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” If we kept the Ninth Commandment, we wouldn’t have to swear this oath in court before we testified. In fact, we may not even need a court if people valued truth. While some dodge the truth or bend it to fit their needs, others say, “I just tell it like it is!” Ephesians 4:15 tells us to speak the truth in love. Are you truthful? How do you share the truth? The truth is words can hurt or heal. Even a rebuke given in love is designed to heal, not to hurt – to correct, not condemn.
One of the most amazing revelations to me about truth in the New Testament is that truth is a person! Jesus said, “I am the Truth!” in John 14:6a. This makes truth personal and relational, not simply an idea you can bullet point or some rational abstraction. Christ followers are not called to believe in a rational account of truth or dogma. We are called to believe in the truth as it has been revealed in Jesus Christ who alone is full of grace and truth. Because Jesus is truth, all who follow Him as Lord can themselves become true – true human beings. 1 John 5:20 says, “We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true. And we are in Him who is true–even in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”
Jesus said that knowing the truth would set us free, no longer bound by deception or lies. We could walk in truth with confidence in His love. If we are walking in truth, we won’t have to worry about breaking the Ninth Commandment.