I Just Hate It When You Do That

Bible Book: Exodus  20 : 16
Subject: Lying; Tongue; Honesty; Ten Commandments
Series: Ten Commandments - God's Way, The Right Way

I Just Hate It When You Do That - Commandment 9

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editior, www.pastorlife.com

Exodus 20:16

Today we come to the 9th Commandment in a series entitled, "God's Way, The Right Way," which involves an examination of the Ten Commandments. While looking at this series we have learned anew just how up-to-date these ancient, divine laws really are. Today we will be reminded once again of this fact. Look at Exodus 20:16 and note the words of the ninth Commandment: "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."

This Commandment deals with the subject of lying, of not telling the truth, and/or of bearing a false witness. You have heard it said that truth is stranger than fiction, well it was Mark Twain who once said, "Truth is more of a stranger than fiction." Indeed, truth is a stranger to many people because they live in a world of lies and shaded truth.

Lying is a problem in our society. This fact is verified by many sources. It is reported that a preacher asked his congregation how many of them had read the 29th chapter of Matthew. Many hands were raised by members of the congregation. He then said, "You are my subject today, I am preaching on lying and there is no 29th chapter in Matthew."

"Leadership" Magazine, vol. 15, no. 1, gave the following quote from the July 15, 1993 Boardroom Reports by Peter Levine: "When the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ran a help-wanted ad for electricians with expertise at using Sontag connectors, it got 170 responses - even though there is no such thing as a Sontag connector. The Authority ran the ad to find out how many applicants falsify resumes."

George Barna polled adults in the United States and found that "71% believed that there is no such thing as absolute truth." He found that "40% of evangelicals believed that there is no such thing as absolute truth."

U.S. News and World Report asked, "What is the number 1 quality you would like in a friend." Ninety- four percent answered, "Honesty."

Honesty is not just the best policy, it is not just the right policy, it is the divine policy. Note that two of the commandments among the ten deal with the tongue. The third Commandment deals with "profanity," the ninth Commandment deals with "perjury." One commandment is designed to protect the name of God while the other is designed to protect the reputation of man.

Let's look seriously today at the ninth Commandment: "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor." The full impact of this Commandment lies in the fact that giving a false testimony is always detrimental to those around us. People are depending on what they hear to be the truth. To lie to someone is to give false testimony to them and against them. We shall look at this subject today in three parts.

I. The Father of Lies

Why do we lie? One boy was asked what God thought about lying. He said, "Lying is an abomination to God but it is a very present help in time of trouble."

Why do we find it so easy to lie? Lying is an attempt to protect ourselves from others, enhance ourselves in the eyes of others, or to damage others and, thereby, to make ourselves appear better than others. Where in the world did all the lying begin?

Look in John 8:44 and you will see that the devil is the Father of Lies. Jesus stated that the Pharisees were professional religious liars. He is speaking to them in John 8:44f. Behind every lie is the devil. When you lie, you are acting like the devil. He lied from the beginning. The first three times we discover Satan in the Bible He is lying!

A. The First Time He Is Lying About God To Man: (Eve)

B. The Second Time He Is Lying About Man To God. (Job)

C. The Third Time He Is Lying About God To Man Again

You can see this in Genesis 3. The first lie led to the downfall of the first man.

He lied about God's Word.

He lied about God's Warning.

He lied about God's Wisdom.

He lied about Job to God. (Explain) In reality, Job served God because of what God meant to him, not because of what God had done for him. Mark 14:56 states that many spoke falsely against Jesus. Their testimony did not match the truth. Satan's lies led to the downfall of the first man, the denunciation of the faithful man and the death of the God-man.

Though lying is the devil's domain, it does not just belong to the devil. Lying has become part of the human vocabulary. A comedian came on stage some years ago pretending to be a politician. He said that the news media had accused him of lying and he was going to prove that they were wrong. He had a wire attached to him coming from a nearby box. He told the audience that he was hooked up to a lie detector and that every time he lied a buzzer would sound, and he was going to use this device to prove that he was telling the truth. He then stated that he was excited to be present for this experiment. Immediately the buzzer sounded - he was lying. He changed his statement to say that at least he was glad to be present. The buzzer sounded again because, again, he was lying. Finally he said, "Well, alright, I hate being here but my aides told me I had to do it." At last the buzzer was silent. He had told the truth. This process continued with the politician forced to water down every statement in order to stop the buzzer from repeatedly beeping and buzzing. By the time he finished, the buzzer was going off on just about every other word the politician spoke. As the comedian's act came to a close, he picked up the lie detector and hurled it across the room.

I wonder what would happen to you and me if a buzzer sounded every time we lied? Certainly we are all glad that doesn't happen. The "Father of Lies" has in fact introduced everyone of us to the art and act of lying.

II. The Family of Lies

A father has a family and the devil has a family of lies. He has seven children in this family of falsehood. Think about the "Seven Secrets of Highly Sinful Liars."

A. Perjury/False Statement

The first child of the Father of Lies is that of perjury or simply making an outright false statement. Perjury refers to lying when under an official oath. A false statement refers to an untruth stated under any other circumstances. Perjury generally occurs in a court or while making statements to an officer of the court. False statements are lies told in normal conversation when the speaker is fully aware that he is stating something, which is deliberately untrue. We even witnessed a President of the United States a few years ago who committed perjury when he lied about a White House affair while under oath. There is no place so high and no place so low that one is immune to lying.

B. Exaggeration

An exaggeration, sometimes referred to as a fish story, occurs when a person is seeking to make an impression on someone and simply elevates the story to a point that is untrue.

Some stories start out as falsehoods or simple lies, but soon are exaggerated. A preacher was accused of going to a meeting and in great anger dragging his wife out the door by her arm. He responded with a note to the local newspaper as follows: "First, I never argue with my wife regarding her decisions. Secondly, I did not enter the room where the meeting was taking place. Third, my wife did not attend the meeting in question. Fourthly, I do not have a wife!!!" Some stories can become quite exaggerated, even when told by the news media.

C. Implication

An implication occurs when someone insinuates something to be true without actually saying it. It is possible to tell the truth and imply the lie. Be assured that a half-truth is a whole lie. You can lie with the arch of the eye, with the tone of your voice, or by simply implying something without saying it.

The Captain of a ship placed the following line in the ship's log. "The first mate is drunk today." The first mate was in charge of the log a few days later and out of spite put the following in the log, "The captain is sober today." The implication of the first mate's words was that the captain was regularly intoxicated. He said as much without saying that much!

D. Flattery

Flattery is the act of complimenting someone when in fact you do not mean it. David wrote In Psalm 55:21, "His speech is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords." So it is, that many will praise you to your face and hold a sword at your back. It has been said of some people that when they pat you on the back, they are looking for a soft place to put the knife. Let your praise be true or be silent!

E. Slander

Slander is the act of making a false statement about one person who is not present to another person who is present. You can slander through direct statements or through gossip, which is passed on when you do not know whether it is true or untrue. You can also slander someone with a rumor, whether you started it or just continue it.

Maybe you heard about the misprint in small newspaper, which read, "Woman was taken to the hospital to have a rumor removed." It should have said, "Woman taken to the hospital to have a tumor removed." It would be a wonderful thing if hospitals could actually remove rumors, it would spare many reputations!

A preacher was once called before his deacon body for beating his wife. Two ladies had passed the preacher's house and had seen the event through the window. The wife was screaming and the preacher was chasing her with a stick of some kind.

The pastor explained that his wife had seen a rat and was terribly frightened. She screamed for him to do something. He got the broom and chased the rat through the house while his wife yelled at the top of her lungs.

The wife confirmed the story but, nonetheless, the rumor spread so far and wide that the pastor was forced to find a new church.

We can also slander by unjust criticism. Actually, most people who are highly critical of others have a problem in their own lives. There was a woman who had a visitor one day in her home. She told her friend, "Look over there at my neighbor's home. The paint on the house is all streaked and stained. I think it is a shame for her to leave her home looking like that." The neighbor who was visiting said, "It is not her house that is streaked and stained, it is your windows that are dirty and it makes her house look as if it is streaked and stained."

Many times, when we are speaking ill of others, it is because our own lives are stained and unclean.

F. Hypocrisy

We can also lie by acting in a manner which is not our true self. Hypocrisy is the act of implying something through your behavior or words, which is actually not true. Hypocrisy can be called the "act" of lying. To act in a way that does not constitute the facts is to lie through behavior.

G. Self-deception

Finally, Satan leads us to self-deception. Self-deception is the act of lying to ourselves. A person can convince himself or herself that a thing is true or untrue when the opposite is the case.

Yes, the Father of Lies has many children, and he sends them all into our lives to tempt us to join the family of liars. Mark Twain wrote, "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." Maybe that is because a lie has many brothers and sisters, while the truth is the truth and stands alone.

III. The Foolishness of Lies

It is a foolish thing to lie, for God has told us in Matthew 12:37 reads, "For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." Be sure your sin will find you out. You may think that your lies are safe, but the truth will win out, the truth will come to light.

A. God Hears Lying

God hears our lies. He knows when we are telling the truth. He can see through every falsehood. He knows the devil's family of lies and can call each by name.

A school principal received a phone call. The voice said, "Thomas Bradley won't be in school today." The principal was a bit suspicious of the voice. He asked, "Who is speaking?" The voice came back, "My father." (James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988 p. 288.)

Our own words condemn us, and they do great harm to us and to others. There is a divine chastisement for lying as recorded in the Word of God.

B. God Hates Lying

God hates lying because of the damage it does. In James 3:5 we read, "Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark."

The tongue can start a social forest fire, especially when it is used for lies and untruth. In Psalm 52:2 we read, "Your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor, you who practice deceit." The tongue can cut like a razor. Imagine the damage done by a sharp razor. A slash by a razor can cut a person to pieces. The Bible compares the lying tongue to a sharp razor and the damage it can do.

God hates lying because of the damage it does to others. But also, he hates it because of the ruin it brings on those who do it. There is the story of a lady named Beth who saw a certain man's car parked in some unusual places. She started a rumor that the man must be having an affair and was parking in all those different places to meet a woman. The word spread to several people in the community, and finally came to the attention of the man himself. He did a little research and found out that the rumor started with Beth. He knew, of course, that her rumor was untrue, but what was he to do? What do you think he did? I'll tell you. He pulled his car up in front of Beth's house and parked it for three days. You can be sure Beth worked really hard to stop the rumor she had originally started.

When you lie, your lies hurt others, but they can also come back to haunt you. When people find out that we have lied, the do not readily trust us again. We lose our testimonies. We damage our reputations. It is important for us to be truthful and trustworthy.

What does God think of our lying? Listen to Proverbs 12:22, "The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful." The Lord says, "I just hate it when you do that. I despise your lying lips." This is seen clearly in Proverbs 6:16-19, "There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers."


There is an acrostic, which may help us when it comes to speaking properly. It comes from the word TRUTH.

*T - Is it TRUE?

*R - Is it REQUIRED?



*H - Is it HARMFUL?

It was C.S. Lewis who wrote, "A little lie is like a little pregnancy- it doesn't take long before everyone knows."

Why do we lie? For one of three reasons.

"Lack of Conversion"

Perhaps because we are not saved. We do not know the one who said, I am the truth. Jesus said He would lead us into all truth. Without Him, your entire life is a lie.

"Lack of Commitment"

If we are saved and still lie, it is perhaps because we lack the commitment to be truthful. We must make a fresh new commitment of our tongue and behavior to the Lord. This must be done often and with real meaning.

"Lack of Confidence"

Much of lying takes place because people feel a lack of self-confidence. So, people lie to make people think less of others, thinking that it will make them think more of the one lying. Or, people lie in order to be impressive. The lie is used to make others think more of the liar.

Let us come to the Lord today to have our tongues cleansed and purified. Isaiah said, "I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips." Surely it is true of this generation as well. Let us be as honest as the great servant of God, Isaiah. God will cleanse us. He will save the unsaved, He will accept the commitment of the saved, and He will give new confidence to those who need it.