While this is in direct reference to the third commandment and is obviously important, it is an area I don't really struggle with to the best of my knowledge. As I read the commentaries and study notes for the exact meaning of this passage, I see several areas referenced.
- When you need to swear an oath of importance, i.e. on a witness stand, tell the truth and do not do it lightly.
- Do not swear by God's name and then tell lies. It is of gravest importance when using the name of God.
- In most cases in your life, you should not need to swear by anything. Your integrity should be that if you say yes, you mean yes. And if you say no, you mean no. No suspicion of falsehood should ever be associated with your word.
This is a tough one in our society -- to believe people's word. Lying has become a norm and tainted the thought of integrity in all men and women. I just hate that. I want to believe people, but do I seriously have to ask someone, "Do you swear?" to trust their word? Can't we all just agree to speak the truth at all times and eliminate the doubt? I especially want to put this question to our politicians. I think I'm going to start a truth-telling crusade. Will you join me?
- Look up the third commandment and read study notes on it.
- Lying must be a long term disease. Look in a concordance at the number of verses that have the word "truth" in them. Jesus repeatedly said, "I tell you the truth...."
- Who is the Spirit of Truth and how should he affect our lives?
- Compare and contrast integrity and lying. How does one affect the other?
- Is your word true? Can you be trusted at all times to speak truth without having to swear to its veracity? If not, how can you expect others to tell you the truth? What about your children; do they see you modeling truth?