“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” — Exodus 20:16 (NIV84)
For most of us there is not much wiggle room with this commandment. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, we (humanity) have used words to deceive and hurt others. We shy away from concepts of absolute truth unless they fit into our personal view of truth. We manipulate the truth and use half-truths to justify feelings, attitudes and responses to things. In order to make ourselves feel good, we speak poorly of others. For just a moment, think over the last few days and consider the things you’ve said about other people. In the end, it is sin. It is what Satan did with Adam and Eve in the garden. He lied to them. He convinced them that God was holding something back from them, and that they would have to eat the forbidden fruit to get what God was holding back. It was all a lie. God held nothing back. They were complete just the way they were. Actually, when they listened to the lie, they lost what it was they really had, which was truth.
I lie, you lie, and if we deny it, we are lying! But there is hope. Jesus came into the world as “the way, and the truth and the life.” The closer we get to Jesus, the closer we get to real eternal truth. The closer we get to that truth, the more our lives are changed and transformed back into the image in which we were originally created. Jesus died on the cross and bore all the sins, fears, insecurities and doubts that cause us to lie to God, other people and even ourselves. God’s love for us provides an environment where we can safely admit who and what we are. As we confess and repent of our brokenness, we find the Spirit of God within us, making us new. We have been saved from all the stuff that our lies cover up. We can, with all honesty, take it to the cross of Jesus and leave it there. We can live in the shadow of the cross for the rest of our lives, not fearing truth and honesty.
May our lives be transformed by the renewing power of the Word of God.