By: Ely Lagajino
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Exodus 20:16 (KJV)
A customer of mine recommended his friend, a manager working in Escolta, Manila. Because of the heavy traffic, I reached the place at around four o’clock in the afternoon. I proceeded to his office located on the fourth floor. When we met, the manager told me to come back at precisely six o’clock, and before leaving, he reminded me not to be late. I waited for almost two hours, and at the exact time, I went back to his office. When I reached the fourth floor, the security guard in charge of the area told me that all the offices on that floor closed at five o’clock. I told the guard that I had an appointment with him.
“Maybe he worked overtime.” I said. So the guard accompanied me to the area and to my surprise, the six o’clock time made me sick because the door was really locked.
To bear false witness means to spread, render, or give cover up lying testimonies, including hypocrisy and deception. Mark Twain wrote that one of the striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.
The 9th commandment prohibits anything that may prejudice our neighbours because of insult and false accusations that may harm their reputation, including all forms of lying, either white lies or half-truths. The opposite of bearing false witness is practicing honesty, sincerity, and integrity.
The people who will walk with Christ in the last days understand the 9th commandment by bearing a witness to the truth. John the Revelator saw them in a vision “no lie was found in their mouths” (Revelation 14:5).