‘And you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Deuteronomy 5:20 ESV)
What seems to be in view here is to intentionally lie in a legal setting so as to meaningfully cause your neighbor harm. Lying perverts justice and is not an accurate reflector of who God is and how He operates, which is one of our primary callings as His image bearers. When we lie, we are saying to all of creation, “this is what God is like.” We have such a proclivity towards using our words in destructive and hurtful ways. Even “small, white lies,” can cause harm.
The call here is to live a truthful life. We need help with this because we are so driven by the approval of others that we frequently “bend” the truth in order to present ourselves in a more favorable light. We need to rest in the truth that we are accepted by God because of the perfectly lived life of Christ so we no longer need to be driven by the opinions of others. It’s simple, but certainly not easy!