Geoff Hohneck
The Ten Commandments
The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth
Exodus 20:16
7 May 2017

The ninth commandment deals with all we say, wherever and whenever. Because the tongue can do so much damage, we must keep check of it. God desires for believers to communicate only that which is good.

One prohibition of this commandment is the giving of false evidence. Presenting such is directly opposed to the instruction to "let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth" (Eph. 4:29). This includes exaggeration and flattery, which is a twisting of the facts. As Christians, we are to embrace truth, not error.

It also prohibits gossip and slander. We are to do to others as we would have them do to us (Lk. 6:31). This means respecting, and building up others' reputations, rather than tearing them down.

Thirdly, this commandment prohibits hasty conclusions. We are never to condemn without all the facts, so that we may not falsely accuse. Let us give the benefit of the doubt.

The implied prescription of this command includes the telling of the truth. We are to let our yes be yes, and our no be no (Matt. 5:37). We are to tell the facts. We are to focus on the positives - and we have a choice in this matter. We are to give others the same grace we would like to receive, remembering that we are all made in God's image.

When we consider saying something, may we ask: "is it true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind?" Let our speech be always good.