The Ninth Commandment: a call for self-restraint

It can be easy to repeat what we hear. But that doesn't mean we should.

What one hears may not necessarily be true; and no one wants unwittingly to be taken in by, or made to participate in, the spread of falsehood. So, even though it's not the way society in general seems to go about things these days, it is worth all the self-restraint we can muster to keep ourselves from indiscriminately repeating what we hear. We need to be alert and discerning about what we listen to, what we take in, and what we repeat in our thought or to others—whether we are alone, at the supermarket, or conversing with a respected friend.

Not to be taken in by falsehood is a condition for not being harmed (or causing harm) by falsehood, as well as for obeying the Ninth Commandment, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour" (Ex. 20:16). To repeat what is false is to become a false witness and thus to bear false witness against the fact of man's true identity as God's, Truth's, spiritual image and likeness, or Truth's witness.

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November 22, 1993

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