Have you ever done something 99%? Well, some people feel telling the truth 99% of the time is good enough. It’s OK to tell a little white lie here and there. But is it? If you drank milk that was 99% milk but 1% vinegar, would that be OK? This idea that little white lies are harmless is wrong, however, this thinking has become a part of our culture.
In fact, University of New England professor, David Livingstone Smith says, “part of becoming socialized is learning how to lie in expected and acceptable ways. If you aren’t capable of concealing truth, you’re not going to thrive in human society.” Really? This is terrible advice.
Researcher, Dr. Tim Levine, who studies deception at the University of Alabama at Birmingham says people lie daily between 0 to 2 times a day, with 1% of people being prolific liars (more than 15 lies a day). While this may seem like good news (most people are fairly honest) even one lie a day is too many.
So why do we do it? The reasons for lying vary. We may lie to not hurt someone’s feelings, to avoid punishment, to manipulate someone, to look better to others, etc. No matter the reason, lying is damaging to relationships as it breaks trust. And lying is directly addressed in 20 verses in the Bible.
For example, Proverbs 6:17 says lying is an abomination to the Lord. Proverbs 12:22 tells us, “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord; but they that deal truly are His delight.” Proverbs 14:5 says, “A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness will utter lies.” Thus, it is clear. God hates lying and it is not part of His character. Scripture tells us that it is impossible for God to lie Hebrews 6:18.
If you find yourself in a habit of lying, it is time to make a change. First, acknowledge it as wrong and then repent from the lies. God is faithful and does forgive our sins when we confess them and ask for forgiveness.
Now to break the habit, begin by identifying the triggers. When does it happen and what prompts you to do it? Once you see the pattern and know the reason, remember, God gives you the power to overcome lies. His Spirit in you in more powerful than any other spirit. So, pray and ask for the self-control needed to overcome. Break the habit. There is freedom in Christ.
If you do lie, admit it. Lies are usually found out eventually and then trust is broken and difficult to repair. So yes, repair the relationship by admitting you did wrong. Commit to a life of truth telling, of building honesty and integrity. These two things will take your life in a positive direction.
Remember, we are always accountable to God for our behavior, but it may help to have an accountability partner whenever you are changing a bad habit. Based on Scripture, this is not a sin to accommodate. No lie of any color, white or black, is worth the spiritual cost, much less the way it negatively impacts our relationships.
The Bible is very clear that lying is a sin. Today, do not listen to the cultural voices that say little white lies are OK and just something we do. Instead, look to God’s word to direct your behavior.Telling Little White Lies