Thursday, October 14, 2010

Is it ever ok to tell a lie?

I asked the above question to my Life Group this past Sunday. We had a lesson about sin and I was just using the question to make reference to the moral ambiguity and relativism in our culture. Little did I know that there would be such a discussion on what I thought was a fairly simple question. I have a little saying (well, we have lots of sayings at our house actually) that I use - there's black and white and there is no gray. It has hand motions that go with it so you aren't getting the full effect of the saying here. But, I am, by nature, a rule follower. I see black and white. Gray is not an option for me. Other people in my house, not mentioning any names, see gray. To them, gray is ok. I cannot relate to gray. (Although recently I purchased 2 new gray sweaters. Why would one need 2 gray sweaters? It seems a little overboard for me except one is shortsleeve and one is long which has nothing to do with today's post.)

So, what do you think - is it ever ok to tell a lie? One person commented that it is ok to lie to save a life. One person said it is ok to lie so as not to hurt another's feelings. "Oh, yeah, those shoes look fine with that outfit," and secretly thinking you should call the fashion police. Help a sister out, tell the truth!!

I was reading the story of Samson and Delilah from the 16th chapter of Judges today. Delilah asked Samson the secret to his great strength. The first time she asked, he told her a lie. But, the lie saved his life. Did that make the lie ok?  And, what was it about Samson's relationship with Delilah that was all wrong to begin with that put him in a position where he needed to lie?

Sometimes we get ourselves into messes that are hard to get out of. Where we go and what we do is so important. We must guard our steps and guard our hearts. God wants us to have the life that is abundant (John 10:10) not one filled with lies and deception. His plan is so much greater than that!

Which brings me to the next question, why do we think there's a difference between a little white lie and telling big lie? Or is there a difference?

Just wondering...

Serving the King,



Anonymous said...

how would you "lie to save a person's life" I would be curious to hear what scenario they envisioned lying saving someone's life.....

Unknown said...

To the first poster:
If a known rascist came to your house, asking where the nearest black people are, would direct them next door, or say you really don't know/not many live around here?
I believe lying here, may save the nieghbour's lives.

All thoughts on Religion/God aside, it is not an action which is, in itself, immoral, but the results of this action. Consequences are the only measure of morality.
So lie about what you like, a lie is not, in my opinion a sin, unless the bad consequences outwieght the good.
Take for example, this: If you get drunk at a party and a kiss another man, who you do not know and do not care about, I think it would not only be okay to not tell your husband, but be moral not to, if and ONLY if, he does not find out later on. No one is hurt by not saying, and he will be upset if you do.
However, if he DOES find out, it was immoral not to tell him.
This world view makes it hard to make descisions, but it's my world view.

And I think I've changed my name on this since we last spoke - Hi, I'm the girl with whom you exchanged a few emails on the subject of religion.

Anonymous said...

Hooray for having time to keep up with my favorite blogs again :)

Just wanted to comment on something that really got me thinking. It was when you said, "And, what was it about Samson's relationship with Delilah that was all wrong to begin with that put him in a position where he needed to lie?"

I think lying is an area where a lot of people see gray. I'm a black and white person myself - a rule follower extraordinaire (although if you ask my parents they may not be quite as willing to give me such a title). But lying can sometimes be a sticky situation. The thing that struck me most about the statement you made was that you were not defending the lie. Sure, the lie saved the man's life. But at what cost? And why was he so willing to lie? Shouldn't GODLY relationships lead you into Truth with a capital T? I love that you bring into question the relationship, not the lie.

I don't know if any of this is making sense but it really got me thinking. Are the relationships in my life ones that give me the safety and confidence to speak Truth? If not, why not? Are those relationships in which I'm tempted to lie leading me in a Godly way?

I don't know - just got me thinking :) Thanks for sharing your heart!