Lesson 41: The Eighth Commandment
"And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.  The tongue is placed among our members, which defileth the whole body, and inflameth the wheel of our nativity, being set on fire by hell.  For every nature of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of the rest, is tamed, and hath been tamed, by the nature of man:  But the tongue no man can tame, an unquiet evil, full of deadly poison.  By it we bless God and the Father:  and by it we curse men, who are made after the likeness of God.  Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not so to be."  (James 3:6-10)

  1. What is the Eighth Commandment?

  2.    Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

  3. What does the Eighth Commandment oblige you to do?

  4.    To use the power of speech according to God's plan, that is, always to tell the truth.

  5. Name some of the sins against the Eighth Commandment.
    1. Lying
    2. Not keeping secrets
    3. Hurting someone's reputation
    4. Making known the sins of others
    5. Unjust criticism
    6. Judging another without sufficient evidence
    7. Gossip
    8. Suspecting another without sufficient evidence
    9. Insults
    10. Perjury

  6. What kind of sin is it to tell a lie?

  7.    A mortal sin if it harms someone seriously; otherwise, it is venial.

  8. Are you ever allowed to tell a lie?

  9.    No, not even a small one, not even to save someone's life or reputation.
    "Wherefore putting away lying, speak ye the truth every man with his neighbor; for we are members one of another."    (Ephesians 4:25)

  10. What must you do if you have told lies about another?

  11.    You have to do everything you can to restore his good name and make up any losses he suffered because of your lies.

  12. Is it a sin to make known the hidden sins of another?

  13.    Yes, unless someone else would suffer harm; in such a case you are obliged to tell the proper authorities.

  14. Is it a sin to listen to gossip?

  15.    Yes, because you are co-operating in another's sin.
    It is a duty of charity to defend the reputation of another when it is being attacked.

  16. Is perjury a sin?

  17.    Telling a lie after swearing to God to tell the truth is always a mortal sin.
    "A false witness shall not be unpunished:  and he that speaketh lies, shall perish."    (Proverbs 19:9)