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Author Topic: Is "white lie" a sin?  (Read 307 times) Average Rating: 0
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andrewlya
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« on: October 20, 2014, 09:16:14 AM »

Hi dear all,

We all know that lying is a sin (Leviticus 19:11; Proverbs 12:22). But what about those “little white lies” that involve an ever-so-slight stretching of the truth? Do the small lies matter, or are they harmless? What if telling the truth might hurt someone?

Kind Regards,

God bless.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2014, 09:16:30 AM by andrewlya » Logged

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elephant
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2014, 10:31:35 AM »

Dear Andrew,

I think that since we live in a fallen world, sometimes we are not able to avoid doing things we would rather not.  There may be no 'perfect' choice. 

However, we need to try to find the best solution that leads us towards, not away from God.  That means speaking with love at all times.  Sometimes the best choice may be choosing not to speak at all. 

Love, elephant
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andrewlya
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2014, 11:21:32 AM »

Dear Andrew,

I think that since we live in a fallen world, sometimes we are not able to avoid doing things we would rather not.  There may be no 'perfect' choice. 

However, we need to try to find the best solution that leads us towards, not away from God.  That means speaking with love at all times.  Sometimes the best choice may be choosing not to speak at all. 

Love, elephant
Daer Elephant,
that's true. I suppose it can't be a sin if you say "oh, I like this present" when you don't really only because not to oofend that person who had tried to make an effort to get you the present.
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2014, 11:42:37 AM »

Hi dear all,

We all know that lying is a sin (Leviticus 19:11; Proverbs 12:22). But what about those “little white lies” that involve an ever-so-slight stretching of the truth? Do the small lies matter, or are they harmless? What if telling the truth might hurt someone?

Kind Regards,

God bless.

In my opinion every lie is a sin.
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hecma925
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« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 02:11:21 AM »

Dear Andrew,

I think that since we live in a fallen world, sometimes we are not able to avoid doing things we would rather not.  There may be no 'perfect' choice. 

However, we need to try to find the best solution that leads us towards, not away from God.  That means speaking with love at all times.  Sometimes the best choice may be choosing not to speak at all. 

Love, elephant
Daer Elephant,
that's true. I suppose it can't be a sin if you say "oh, I like this present" when you don't really only because not to oofend that person who had tried to make an effort to get you the present.

Just saying "Thank you," should rarely offend anyone
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Xenia
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« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 03:15:18 AM »

In my opinion,  which isn't worth much but here it is,  if telling the truth, that is, the whole truth,  causes needless pain to another person,  then I think the white lie (fib) might be the lesser sin.  But one has to be careful with one's motives.  If the fib is told to protect oneself, this is worse than if the fib is told to protect another person.  I know the word "fib" is a weasel word for "lie" and I probably shouldn't use it.  In a fallen world sometimes we have to choose the lesser of two evils.  But again,  one's motive in lying has to be pure,  if such a thing is possible.  Sometimes we withhold a truth because the truth could cause considerable damage.  Sometimes this can be attempted without flat-out voicing a lie. We will probably feel miserable no matter what we choose to do. Sad

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iman_allen
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« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 09:13:45 AM »

I believe that a "small,white lie" is just as great as a bigger, much darker lie. For the Lord equates committing adultery with having lust in your heart, and committing murder with having hatred in your heart. So, I take that as Him saying that regardless of the degree of the sin, having the intention to do so is the same as actually doing the act itself; therefore lying, no matter how great or small the lie may be, is just still sinful as it has the intention to deceive.

Also, keep in mind that the Word says "All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.", meaning that although there are sins that are not so great in size that they may result in death, there are still small things that we may do that are wrong and are equivalent to sin. 

Instead of lying, speak the truth, but in a loving and uncondeming way. "Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ"- Ephesians 4:15
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« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 09:27:42 AM »

To lie is to bear false witness.  It really doesn't matter if the lie is a "little" one to spare someone's feelings.  It's still a lie and it is still sinful.  Recently, on OC.net, there have appeared a lot of threads which seek to excuse certain sins or recategorize them into something new so as to minimize just how destructive they are. I'm not saying that committing lots of little sins, like white lies, will necessarily always lead to big sins, but if such becomes a habit and we do everything to excuse those little things, how long before we start to excuse the big ones?  That's the destructive power of sin.
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« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 10:43:20 AM »

To lie is to bear false witness.  It really doesn't matter if the lie is a "little" one to spare someone's feelings.  It's still a lie and it is still sinful.  Recently, on OC.net, there have appeared a lot of threads which seek to excuse certain sins or recategorize them into something new so as to minimize just how destructive they are. I'm not saying that committing lots of little sins, like white lies, will necessarily always lead to big sins, but if such becomes a habit and we do everything to excuse those little things, how long before we start to excuse the big ones?  That's the destructive power of sin.

While I agree with you, I do not think the minimizing of little lies is new here, at least in regard to dealing with phone solicitors.
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eddybear
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« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 05:18:26 PM »

I'm trying to think of any examples of "white lies" in the Bible. Having just read Judith, it would seem that deceipt in that context was justified, although some of her answers are cleverly ambiguous. Similarly with the fall of Jericho and the prostitute Rahab who hid the Jews and then lied to the townsfolk. She was commended for her actions. A more recent 20th Century example would be those who hid Jews in Nazi Germany and lied to the Gestapo. The similiarity in all these is that the lie is for the benefit of others, and also at great personal risk to the one telling the lie. Not likely to be situations that we will ever have to face, but it does show things aren't always black and white.
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Xenia
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« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 09:49:03 PM »

I am thinking of situations where you know something awful about a person but they repented of it and  years later,  a nosy Parker comes and asks you directly:  Did so-and-so do thus-and-so?   Just out of idle curiosity, they ask.  I would not tell them what I knew if I thought the truth would ruin lives.  If I said something like "none of your business, Buster,"  they would assume I was hiding something.  I think I would answer "how would I know?"  which is not exactly the truth but is a lesser sin than blabbing all I knew and destroying some people in the process.  Being coy about it would only provoke them to greater curiosity.   Yes, I do occasionally find myself in awkward situations like this.

I would have still sinned but I think it would have been a lesser sin than telling the whole truth.   I would still have to confess it.

Sounds like I believe in situational ethics.  Sad
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« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 09:53:51 PM »

There are plenty of examples of times when telling someone a untruth would not be sinful. If you think things are so black and white I'm afraid  you have a misunderstanding of God's law.
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« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 10:02:42 PM »

St. Athanasius was said to have escaped Julian the Apostate's forces by fooling them into thinking he was in a different boat. He hid on the shore while having his companions, in his boat, tell the officers "Yes, he is not very far off". They assumed there had to be another boat up the river and continued hastily up the Nile. Nothing he said was untrue, but he knew the officers would be unable to think laterally and would therefore assume something different was meant.
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« Reply #13 on: Today at 10:02:05 AM »

Christ summarizes the Ten Commandments as love the Lord thy God and love thy Neighbor as Thyself.  If someone comes before a court you should not perjure as it can lead to the punishment of innocents. If someone needs to hear the harsh truth then tell them it for their well being.   If some kid draws something and it looks like a box of crayons vomited on some construction paper, just tell them that it looks pretty.  Love your neighbor comes first before the letter of the law.

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