Put away all falsehood and “tell your neighbor the truth. ” Ephesians 4:25
DO YOU ever wonder if it’s okay to tell a little white lie sometimes?
You could just as easily ask, “Is it okay to put your hand on a red-hot burner sometimes?” or “Is it okay to step in front of a roaring freight train sometimes?”
Truth is one of those absolute, always-right kind of things. Your job is to always tell the truth, because God always tells the truth. It’s never right or good to lie, not even sometimes, not even a little. Lying gets you into trouble because one lie usually leads to another. Lying also makes it difficult for others to trust you.
But what if you’re embarrassed or scared? Is it okay to lie then?
No. Lying is wrong because God is truth and because he has told us not to lie. Telling the truth can be tough at times-especially if you get embarrassed or punished for speaking truth. But it’s always better to do what is right, even when it isn’t easy. In the long run, doing life God’s way is better for you and everybody.
Even though lying is common in our culture, the people around you really want you to be truthful with them. If you tell the truth even when it’s hard, people will think, Wow! They will really respect you. They will trust you and consider you dependable. They might even look to you for advice and leadership. Few people, in fact, will stop being your friend just because you tell the truth. Your friends, classmates, relatives, and neighbors want to be able to trust what you say.
“Yeah, but do I have to tell the truth even when someone asks me to spill what I got him for his birthday?” God wants you to be truthful. But that doesn’t mean you have to answer every question people ask you, and it doesn’t mean you have to tell them everything you know. If someone asks you, “So did you get me a new CD for my birthday?” and you did, you aren’t obligated to say so. It’s time to say something like, “You’ll just have to wait and see” or “You’ll know the answer when you unwrap it.”
And you can be truthful without being brutally honest. For example, if your girlfriend asks, “Do you like my new summer top?” and you hate the color, you don’t have to say, “That’s the ugliest color I have ever seen.” Instead, try something truthful but kind like, “It looks really comfortable.”
Make it a personal rule always to speak the truth, but always speak the truth in love (see Ephesians 4: 15). And there’s a good chance that your commitment to truth telling will spark honesty in others around you.
REFLECT: Are you a truth-teller?
PRAY: Ask God to help you tell the truth, even when it will get you in trouble or make your life difficult.