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Is It Ever Okay to Lie?

September 20, 2016

Have you ever served on a jury?

I have and found the experience to be quite fascinating.

My case?

The big, bad insurance company vs. the little guy, who paid hundreds of dollars in premiums to said mega-company in exchange for the peace-of-mind-in-case-something-happens homeowner’s policy.

Well something did happen. The little guy’s home was burglarized.

Then his claim was denied.

Not having heard the details, one might be inclined to think the big, bad insurance company wasn’t keeping up their end of the bargain.

But that wasn’t the case.

On day one, a critical section of the policy was read aloud to the jury. It clearly stated if any portion of the claim was false, the entire claim would be null and void.

After the closing arguments, twelve of us “little guys” sat around a table sharing our key take-a-ways. Opinions went flying, but the one thing we all agreed on? The little guy lied. Not about all of it, but about some of it.

So we had no choice but to rule in favor of the big, not-so-bad-after-all insurance company.

The moral of the story?

Even a half-truth doesn’t pay.

We all face times when a lie seems right, when a lie seems easier, nicer, softer in a where’s the harm in it kind of way.

Maybe we’re afraid the truth will hurt. Maybe we’re shielding people like that famous line from Jack Nicholson, “You can’t handle the truth.”

Who gave us the authority to decide who can’t handle which truth?

We try softening lies by referring to them as bending the truth. We label less significant untruths as little white lies because it makes them sound fresh and crisp like laundered linens. Truth is, sin is sin. We can dress it all in white, but it won’t make it pretty and it won’t make it truth.

And while we don’t like to think of ourselves as full-blown liars, I’m pretty sure God isn’t on board with little white ones or half-truths either.

Warm and fuzzy lies don’t move mountains.

It may be hard, but when we tell the truth, it frees people. It allows people to experience what they need to experience. It allows people a choice to make positive changes in their life.

We don’t need to be hateful to be truthful. And don’t forget, we need to hear the truth, too.

Then there’s the whole lying to ourselves thing, including how we’re of no value, not able, and not good enough. The truth is, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.

He thought we were worth going to the cross for, so let’s believe Him.

Here’s more truth. Satan whispers lies to us, but we can’t give him all the credit. We tend to help him out in this department, am I right?

Lies may seem harmless, but they can quickly grow from a seedling to a bean-stalk. Bean stalks lead to fee-fi-fo-fum and the giant is real. But we can slay the giant. David showed us that.

Here’s some good news. It may come as no surprise that telling the truth has positive health benefits.

WebMD published an article on the health benefits of telling the truth:

“Our findings support the notion that lying less can cause better health through improving relationships,” says researcher Anita Kelly, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame. “Improvements in the relationships accounted for a significant improvement in health.””

“What we are suggesting is, not violating others’ expectation of honesty is likely to build trust, which may be key to good health through improving our relationships.”

The findings echo some other research findings by Sally Theran, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Mass.

“My research on girls and boys … indicates that the process of being authentic, or being honest and open in meaningful relationships, is significantly related to feeling less depressed and having higher self-esteem,” she says.

Honesty is also related to feelings of intimacy in friendships, she has found. “There may be increased conflict, as a result of being open and honest, but it leads to better quality of friendships,” Theran says.

Telling the truth can feel risky, she says, but when you do so, you can feel less inner conflict. “When we lie,” she says, “it adversely affects our self-esteem and increases our sense of shame. So, it’s not surprising at all that the authors found that telling the truth was related to all these positive outcomes.”

Did you catch the part about how lying increases our sense of shame?

When we lie to others, we’re not doing them any favors and we’re not doing ourselves any favors either.

Let’s be totally real and totally honest. It’s better for our relationships, health, and spiritual well-being.

Always offer truth because truth = trust. tweet it

We can always trust God and He always tells the truth. The Word tells us Jesus is the truth. Let’s follow His lead.

Truth is freedom. Let freedom ring…

“Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another.'” Ephesians 4:25 NKJV

Have you avoided telling the truth to spare someone’s feelings?

Share your comments…

 

Excerpt taken from the article: Fewer Lies, Better Health By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Health News © 2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

 

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2 Comments
September 20, 2016 at 10:23 pm

I know that most of the time when I’m lying to spare someone’s feelings it is usually my own feelings. The most common example of this is when I am relaying the details of something but I carefully “curate” the details in such a way that I appear in the best possible light.

    Doris S. Swift
    September 20, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Thank you for sharing this truth, Heather! It’s not easy to admit these things, especially when it’s about ourselves. I’ve been guilty of this as well. Sometimes saying it out loud makes us more aware and intentional about how we handle situations in the future. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

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