We all know that lying is wrong. It goes against our Christian values and violates the moral code.
But for some reason, we’ve created a subcategory called “Little White Lies” and deemed those types of lies to be acceptable. After all, they don’t hurt anyone, right?
Many people even justify to themselves why they’re okay and actually kind.
But they’re neither okay nor kind. So, why do we do it?
We seem to tell Little White Lies for a couple of main reasons.
We don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.
One of the excuses we use for telling little white lies is that we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. We feel we’re being more kind to lie.
“Do you like this outfit?” your friend might ask. “Absolutely!” you say, not meaning it, but knowing she loves it.
What’s wrong with that? She’s happy and it doesn’t make any difference to you.
Another excuse we use for telling lies is:
We don’t want to own up to our actions.
“Did you pay the electric bill yet?” your spouse might ask. “Yes,” you say, intending to do it later and not wanting an argument because you were supposed to do it two days ago.
Whatever our justification for our little fibs, we’re fooling ourselves.
Do you like liars?
The first issue with little white lies is simply a practical matter. Do you want friends and loved ones who lie to you? If you know a friend tells ‘small’ lies, can you trust they won’t tell you big lies? How can you trust someone who lies?
If you have a habit of telling little white lies, your close friends and family know it. They know your answers are untrustworthy. Do you really want to be known as untrustworthy?
God knows what’s in your heart.
The second issue is a bigger and more important matter. God knows what’s in your heart. You might be able to fool your family and friends. You can even try fooling yourself. But there’s no fooling God. There’s no hiding from the truth of what’s in your heart.
Every lie places a brick between you and Jesus. The lies stack up, creating a wall that separates you.
How to do it differently:
Stop putting barriers between you and God. There’s a simple shift of mindset you can make to change your habits immediately that will restore your relationship with God and show your loved ones, over time, that what you say is true.
You don’t want to hurt their feelings.
If you lie because you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, switch your mindset to “Kind and True” instead. Any answer can be true and yet kind.
So when your friend asks you if you like her outfit that she just bought, a TRUE answer might be “No, I don’t like the color or the style.” A KIND answer might be the lie you would have told – “Absolutely!” But a kind AND true answer could be, “It fits you perfectly,” or “It’s SO you!” or “You look so sassy in it!”
If you’re shopping with her and she’s deciding between outfits, you might say, “This one isn’t my favorite,” or “The other one looks better on you,” or “Why don’t we keep looking?”
If your reason for lying is not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings, that’s a cop out. There’s always a way to be kind and true.
You don’t want to ‘own’ your actions.
The more challenging reason for telling little white lies is not wanting to own up to your “stuff” or not wanting to divulge unflattering information.
I’m a firm believer in “owning it.” If you didn’t pay the electric bill when you said you’d pay it two days ago, own it. Say, “I’m sorry, I’ll do it right now,” and actually DO it. If you do what you say you’ll do, you’ll find fewer excuses to lie.
If you screwed up, own it. If you ran into the pole in the parking lot, don’t tell your spouse someone hit the parked car.
It gets easier with time.
When you take ownership of your words and actions, you’ll automatically find yourself doing the right thing more often – you’ll make a habit of doing what you said you’d do and being honest. You’ll find fewer reasons for lying.
When you reach that point and God looks into your pure heart, He’ll be pleased. Make the change today. God is waiting.