The Ninth Commandment

Episode Theme

Justice-Seeking: Tell the truth

Memory Verse

Exodus 20:16

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

Big lies vs. little lies. Is there a difference? Decide which of these "lies" is the worst:

1. Your grandmother gives you a shirt for a present. You lie by saying, "Grandma, I love it!" Is that little lie a big deal or not?

2. You accidentally break the neighbor's garage window with your baseball.

You lie to the neighbor by saying, "My little brother threw my ball, and it broke your window." Big deal or not?

3. You see a friend's Heelys sitting on the grass so you take them home. When your mom asks you, "Where did you get those?" you lie and say, "I bought them at the thrift store." Big deal or not?

Actually, that was a trick question. All three lies are equally bad. In God's eyes, a lie is a lie is a lie. A small lie told to save someone's feelings is as much of a sin as a mean whopper lie. Both are sin. Both are hurtful. Both separate us from God and from others.

But wait, there's good news! The good news about lying is that God is able and is willing to forgive even the biggest whopper of a lie. The kind of lie that gets someone else into trouble. The kind of lie that is meant to hurt someone's feelings. God can forgive them all.

Why is lying a big deal? Even little lies? We are God's witnesses to the people around us. Each time we get caught lying-big or small-we bring disgrace to God's holy name. If we are willing to lie about little things, why wouldn't we be willing to lie about big things-like how wonderful God is?

That's why the best way for Christians to speak is to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth-with God's kindness. If you're not sure how to speak the truth kindly, tell God. He'll be glad to help you honor both the truth and your listener.

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