Commandment #9   Leave a comment

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor,” Exodus 20:16 (NIV).

Honesty is still the best policy.  

While not a movie I recommend for Christian family entertainment, I recently saw a movie made by Jim Carrey that told the story of a lawyer whose child wished could not tell a lie for one day.  The wish came true, and this lawyer had to find a way to win a lie-based case.

There is one scene in the movie that is quite disturbing.  The lawyer tries to convince his son to make an un-wish, because “grown-ups need to lie.”  He made a reference to a statement made to not hurt someone else’s feelings as evidence.

Have you ever wished that God’s commandments each had a set of conditional excuses?  After all, if you have a loved one murdered, aren’t you justified in taking the murderer’s life?  The “Eye for an eye” mentality actually comes from Old Testament thinking.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could misuse the name of God in situations of extreme anger, as long as you sought forgiveness later?

That is not the way the Lord functions.  Lying is lying.  Murder is murder.  Sin is sin.

Honesty can get you into trouble.  If you’ve done the deed and confess it honestly, there will be a price to pay.  Admitting guilt is something not many people thrive upon, but notice the root of the problem.  There would be no guilt involved nor a confession needed if there were no sin that caused this landslide to begin.

Trying to get away with dishonesty is kind of like nailing Jell-O to a tree.  It never quite works out the way you desire.  It is always the case that when one does something, one has to be dishonest to cover it up.  After that, more dishonesty follows to cover up the cover-up.  And so the landslide begins.

The best solution is not what many people would consider “user friendly.”  However, I believe that you’ll find a quicker sense of peace in your life if you follow this simple rule: when you sin, immediately confess it.

Were you expecting some sort of tremendous theological discourse on how to avoid confession?  Sorry, this is best and it really can be quick.  The only condition on this is that you are sincere, showing authentic remorse for your deed.  The Bible speaks clearly about the forgiveness offered from above.  It is genuine, it is powerful, and it is given to those who sincerely desire it.  

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:9 (NIV).  That’s great, but the next verse is telling.  “If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”  You wouldn’t really want that on your shoulders!

Honesty is still the best policy.  Confess your sins as soon as you are confronted with them, and life you want to live with the Lord will quickly be restored.

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