The 9th love commandment is about the sin of “lying” — written in God’s Word as “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”. Like most of God’s 10LC, it was given in the negative form Thou shalt NOT, but remember each commandment has its positive side too, which needs to be observed in order for the commandment to be fully obeyed. And the 9th love commandment’s positive notion is “Thou SHALL speak the truth”. With that being said, let’s dig deeper into the meaning behind this love commandment.
First of all, I want to go back to the beginning of time in the Garden of Eden and think about Lucifer again, the original sinner. After he violated God’s first two love commandments by becoming prideful and idolatrous (puffed up over his “abundance of materialism”), what was the next sin (or love-less deed) he manifested in order to continue to feed his pride and idolatry? It was LYING! Remember, he lied to Eve – which led to the death (or murder) of mankind’s souls! Thus, the first disobeyer of God’s 9th love commandment (or the original liar!) was Satan. Jesus confirmed this one day while verbally scolding the Pharisees: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts (or prideful desires) of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). Yes, Lucifer lied for his own prideful greedy gain, and he became the God of this world, but only for its 6,000 year age of sin!
Now listen up, LIES are ALWAYS told for the selfish greedy gain (or advantage) of the one telling the lie. Never forget that! Lies are just the evil fruit of pride. It doesn’t matter if it’s a salesman lying to make a lucrative sale, an employee lying about something he’s done wrong so he doesn’t lose his job, a spouse lying so he doesn’t get caught cheating and lose his mate, a person lying about what he knows to feel superior to others, or whatever the lie may be. Do you see? Lies are ALWAYS birthed out of a prideful, selfish heart! Thus, NO LIE exhibits ANY love! Lies are evil. Lies are sin. Lies are told by those who desire to do the devil’s love-less, selfish, greedy will. But be aware, “lying” can take other forms too, besides just the spoken word. For example, cheating, tricking, deceiving, mocking, judging, and gossiping are all forms of “bearing false witness” that can be done in many different ways. Therefore, disobeying the 9th love commandment can involve ACTIONS as well as WORDS.
So what is the positive side of this commandment, or what should we DO instead of lying? We should “speak and do the TRUTH”. “Truth” (whether spoken or done) is always a loving deed! Many times it may even hurt you temporarily, but never eternally! A truth-doer unselfishly reasons, “No matter what the cost to me now, I’m going to speak and do truth!” Thus, the salesman no longer lies to make a sale even though he may lose the sale, the employee comes clean about what he’s done even though he may lose his job, the spouse lays it all on the line about their infidelity even though he may lose his partner forever, a person no longer lies to feel superior to others but humbly admits their shortcomings, or whatever the case may be. Do you see how “speaking & doing truth” is always a SELF-LESS deed? How beautiful. How humble. How loving to others.
Spend some time meditating on the above scenarios, and consider the “love” shown towards one’s neighbor by the truth-teller. For example, the car buyer may now no longer end up in a desperate situation late some night by a piece of junk car that the salesman KNEW had a mechanical problem. Do you see? The salesman showed compassion and concern (or love) for his neighbor by NOT lying to them to make the sale. How about the employer? Now they know the truth of what their employee did wrong, and can rectify the situation, helping the company and its future employees not make the same mistake. Yes, “speaking & doing truth” is ALWAYS a “loving deed”.
Hopefully you now see how obeying God’s 9th love commandment “Thou shalt not lie, but thou shall speak and do truth” is just like God’s other 9 LC in the fact that it describes someone who willingly “denies themselves”, “hates their life”, or “loses their life” in order to love. Remember, these are the VERY THINGS Jesus said a person MUST DO in order to receive eternal life. So let us all diligently heed the Apostle Paul’s loving advice, proving we have crucified our pride: “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another” (Ephesians 4:25).
Lastly, the Great Commission to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations … Teaching them to obey all things whatsoever I have commanded” (Matthew 28:19-20) also falls under obedience to the 9th LC, for God’s Holy Word and His 10LC ARE the Truth! This is why the Psalmist wisely wrote: “Thy law is the truth … all thy commandments are truth” (Psalms 119:142, 151). Consequently, the “truth” is simply “love”! Therefore, long to be a witness to the Truth (or the 10LC) by living and teaching them every precious chance you get: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:16-17).