"Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator."
Whenever I think of some of the customary white lies we weave each day, I am reminded of Miranda Lambert's video White Liar. White lies are often the benefactor of some do-good scheme we've concocted to save the feelings of those we love. Othere times, it is to save our own fate from sure demise should the truth come out.
plural noun: white lies
1. a harmless or trivial lie, esp. one told to avoid hurting someone's
Commonly Told White Lies:
- It wasn’t me! – Because some things just aren’t worth taking credit for.
- The table will be ready in 5 minutes. – Because it sounds a lot better than 15 minutes.
- Oh, yeah. That makes sense. – Because option B involves admitting that I am clueless.
- Thank you so much! I just love it! – Because telling someone that their gift was awful would make me look like an insensitive jerk.
- Yeah, you look great in that dress. – Because it’s better than being slapped.
- Oh, things would have been different if I was there! – Because I’m Superman and I can always make a difference… or at least that’s how I want others to perceive of me.
- No, officer… I have no idea how fast I was going. – Because claiming ignorance is sometimes better than admitting to insubordination.
- I’m 29. – Because 29 is like 20 years younger than 30.
- Yeah, I’ll start working on that ASAP! – Because telling you I have 10 things to do first would just irritate you.
- Yes, John was with me last night. – Because that’s what friends do… we agree and ask questions later.
- My resume is 5 pages long for a good reason. – Because I’m darn good at fluffing me up.
- Man, that sucker was 10 feet long! – Because anything less would be boring.
- Yeah, I was the star quarterback on my high school football team! – Because I want to be seen by others in an even stronger light than I see myself.
- I’m 21, 6’5, with a muscular build. – Because you can’t see me in this online chat room… ha ha!
- I thought I already sent that email out. I’m sure I did. – Because telling you that it was a low priority and I forgot would probably hurt our relationship.
According to the Scriptures, God himself "does not lie" (Titus 1:2). In his holiness, he is incapable of lying. As the apostle John put it, "God is light; in him there is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). Lying can't be other than sinful because God can't do it. If lying were ever righteous, then there would be something righteous that God can't do. It is clearly not God's plan for people to harbor darkness or deception in their hearts. Even though God might use us when we lie, it doesn't mean we are not sinning when we do.
There's a big difference between blurting out rude thoughts and being truthful, just as there is between gentle tact and gentle lying. I wonder if we're defensive about everyday "white lies" because we are too lazy to find creative ways to speak the truth in love. My sense is that most of us are defensive about our lying because we are defensive about ourselves. We are slow to face the truth of the contrast between our character and God's.
This week find creative ways to speak the truth in love. You may be quite surprised that your feelings do come across tactfully and with great blessings.