The Little White Lie

Oct 13, 2016
Dr. Paul Chappell

“Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.” Ephesians 4:25
No matter how polite a lie may seem, no lie goes without consequences.
Have you ever heard someone tell a white lie? The American Heritage Dictionary defines a white lie as “an often trivial, diplomatic or well-intentioned untruth.” This lie is viewed in our world as a way of being polite or telling a harmless lie in order to spare feelings. Notice this list of white lies that was compiled from around our society:
– The check is in the mail.
– I’ll start my diet tomorrow.
– Give me your number and the doctor will call you right back.
– Money cheerfully refunded.
– One size fits all.
– This offer limited to the first 100 people who call in.
– Your luggage isn’t lost; it’s only misplaced.
– Leave your resume and we’ll keep it on file.
– This hurts me more than it hurts you.
– I just need five minutes of your time.
– Let’s have lunch sometime.
– It’s not the money; it’s the principle.
Perhaps you can see a few you’ve even told. Often the lies are subconscious; the speaker doesn’t realize what they are saying is a lie. Yet God gives us clear instructions on lies in Ephesians 4, “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.” Yesterday we learned that we must daily put off our old nature and put on God’s new nature of living. One old way of life we must put off is lying.
Sadly, lying is all too common in our society. Some people make a living off lying and stretching the truth enough to get what they want. Yet as Christians, God desires that we would put away lying and always speak the truth.
Why should we speak truth? What is wrong with a little white, polite lie? “For we are members one of another.” Among Christians, God points out that lying to someone is lying to a brother in Christ. It’s as if you are purposefully deceiving a member of your own family.
Not only should you avoid lying to other Christians, but think of the impact lying has on unbelievers. As a Christian, you are God’s representative to the world. What the world sees in you shows them Christ. Do you want others to associate lying, even the smallest of lies, with the Lord?
Telling fibs or white lies can sometimes happen without thinking. Stretching the truth has become so common to some people; they do so without thought. Rather than telling “harmless” lies, remember God’s command to put off lying and speak the truth with all men. Resist the urge to stretch the truth, and develop a reputation of always speaking the truth.

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