Do not walk in craftiness, dishonesty, or deceitfully handle the word of God
(1) Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; (2) But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
King James Version
In these verses, the apostle clearly states our responsibility to God regarding the ninth commandment. We should manifest truth in every part of our life, making honest and diligent use of God’s gracious gifts without craftiness.
Is our way Christ’s? Can we say we have nothing to do with hidden and shameful methods and speech? He is not talking about acting with unscrupulous cleverness, but how we handle God’s Word. Do we adulterate the Word that God gave us to live by and teach? Our lives should demonstrate that we present ourselves to human conscience in the sight of God. We should live our lives in the fear of God, knowing He is watching and judging our conduct.
We should be childlike and open to leave as little room as possible for people to misinterpret our motives, misunderstand our actions, or twist our words from their real meaning. Does it make any difference what people think of us? Some take the approach, “I will do what I want to do, and what others think doesn’t matter.” This at times has the appearance of wisdom, but it matters to God. If He did not care, He would not show so much concern in His Word about being a good witness for Him and protecting our reputations or His. Much of our effectiveness as a witness depends on being trustworthy through honesty.
Keeping the ninth commandment begins with not letting our deceitful heart trick us into doing or saying anything less than what is honest and true in God’s sight. We must demonstrate a true witness regardless of what men may discern from what we say or do, or what painful harm the truth may do to our vanity.
— John W. Ritenbaugh
To learn more, see:
The Ninth Commandment (1997)