The Ninth Commandment

Apparently mortals have always been willing unjustly to criticize one another. The fact that the ninth commandment reads, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour," indicates that in Moses' time, and before, the inclination was prevalent. His God-inspired "Thou shalt not" recognizes that such thinking must stop before men can fully realize the oneness of God.

Why is it that Mr. A. is willing to take into his thought and pass on to Mr. B. a questionable tale about his competitor, Mr. C.? And why is it that Mrs. X. is willing to sit and discuss (or hold a lingering telephone conversation) with Mrs. Y. that voices gossipy tidbits about Mrs. Z., her past, present, and future? And why is it that even students of Christian Science—sometimes even practitioners—to whom the Ten Commandments are the law of life, have been known to tell half-truths, or three-quarter lies, about each other? Why, just why, do mortals do such things?

November 4, 1944

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