I was tempted recently to tell a little, white lie. I remembered, however, that no lie is white, and no lie is little.
"No lie is of the truth" (I John 2:21).
All dishonesty originates in a source devoted to our harm. "The devil was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own, for he is a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44). Moreover, we must remember the consequences of lying - "The wages of sin is death… Christ died for our sins" ( Romans 6:23; I Corinthians 15:3). Indeed, far before we consider the impact of unbelief and disobedience upon ourselves, we must recall the price remitted by our Lord Jesus for us. He paid the wages of sin by His agony, forsakenness, and death on the cross of Calvary. "He is the propitiation for our sins, and nor for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world" (I John 2:2). Our Savior died for our lies - for all of them. Thus, none are white, and none are little.
Writing the last few sentences gave me pause, leading me to bow my head (and hopefully, my heart). I remember times when I've stretched the truth, compressed the truth, and manipulated the truth for my own selfish purposes. Sometimes I have done so for obviously self-centered and self-protective reasons. Occasionally, however, I've rationalized that sometimes it's better to not be completely honest and forthright so that we don't offend others. Certainly, we should avoid unnecessarily hurting people with foolish and unwise words. Rather than utter falsehoods for which the Lord Jesus died, however, we should seek our Lord's grace and wisdom "to speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15). We do this with prepartory prayers, asking the Lord to have us ready for those occasions when we desperately need His guidance in order to be both obediently true and compassionately kind. Moreover, in those moments when immediate challenges demand wise words, we quickly look to Heaven in our hearts so that we may be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16).
Great is the challenge that lies before us regarding words spoken in truth and graciousness. Greater yet is the power of God to lead and enable us to obey Him in His wisdom and harmlessness. The Psalmist well recognized the demands presented. "Set a watch, o Lord, before my mouth. Keep the door of my lips" (Psalm 141:3). James also wrote that "the tongue can no man tame" (James 3:8). Thus, we seek our Lord's enabling to speak the truth always for God's glory. No lie for which the Lord Jesus suffered and died can be viewed as white or little, and much wisdom will be required as the truth we purpose always to utter edifies rather than injures.
"Deliver my soul, o Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue."
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."
Weekly Memory Verse
For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commented.
(II Corinthians 10:18)