Far From Harmless

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Far From Harmless

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Some people believe that as long as we aren’t hurting others or breaking the law, innocent “white” lies can make life more pleasant. That’s the most common justification given for what many call “white lies” (lies that are intended to shield the recipient from otherwise painful or uncomfortable truths. Can a lie truly not hurt anyone? Can it really be told with good intentions? Truth is, all lies—white or otherwise—operate on the premise of deception. They take the truth and either shade, twist or completely deface it. They also harm the person telling the lie and corrupting good character.

When it comes to honesty, God and Satan stand in two opposite corners. God “cannot lie” (Titus 1:2), while Satan is “a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44).

God tells us not to lie in the Ninth Commandment (Exodus 20:16). The world is not a better place because of our white lies. White lies—and all other kinds—have resulted in the continual distrust and skepticism that plagues society. There are always alternatives. In many cases where our opinion could be hurtful, we can avoid saying anything. Other times, with thought and sensitivity, we can find things to say that are kind and tactful—“speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).

Won’t it be great when the whole world finally keeps the Ninth Commandment?

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