Thought For The Day 07/05/13


Is It Ever OK To Tell A Lie?




Beware of the half truth. You may have gotten hold of the wrong half.

Author Unknown


Someone I didn’t know asked me a question yesterday which prompted me to tell them one of those little white lies we all have been known to tell when we don’t want to really share the truth of the matter. And it was that one little and seemingly insignificant thing, that led me to think about today’s “million dollar question”. Is it ever OK to tell a lie? Now let me explain what happened to me and what prompted me to respond the way I did, without realizing I was lying when I answered, and I will let you be the judge of my choice yesterday.


I was in the grocery store picking up fresh corn for our July 4th barbecue. A store clerk that I know by sight saw me, smiled, and greeted me by asking how I was doing. Now that in and of itself would have been easy to answer but then yesterday was not a usual day. I woke up with a headache that chose to hang around despite my best efforts to banish it away and to top it off, my knees have been singing the Hallelujah Chorus with the same gusto the Mormon Tabernacle Choir manages during their annual holiday concert, because of all of the rainy weather we have been having. So truth be told, I was feeling about as crappy as is possible to feel and yet I HAD to make that trip to the store, despite the fact that I would have preferred to have been sitting in my own house, still wearing my pajamas, with a cold compress over my forehead and waiting for some pain medicine to kick in. And yet, when this person greeted me, I cheerfully answered that I was great, (thank you very much for asking) and I added, “And how are you?”


Now aside from the fact that it has served as a thorn in my side by nagging on my conscience ever since it came out of my mouth, I realized that in answering the way I did, I really hurt no one. Additionally, there was no reason for the person I was chatting with to really know I did not feel as well as I should have felt, and it was then that I realized that we probably should examine our motives for what has prompted us to consider answering in an untrue (or even a partial truth) way. Does our lie protect us or does it protect someone else? You see, when an evasion or half truth serves to protect someone from being hurt in some way, I have to wonder if we are really doing something that benefits them.


A well known psychotherapist by the name of Dr Robi Ludwig, host of the reality television program, “One Week to Save Your Marriage” on TLC, which teaches a couple to empathize as they try to re-connect with each other, says there are 4 times when telling a little white lie is OK:

1. When the whole truth can hurt someone else’s feelings and do more harm than good

2. To foster the imagination and magic of holidays for children, such as Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, and Tooth Fairy fibs

3. When offering passing pleasantries such as “I’m fine, thank you”

4. In order to compliment someone or make it easier for people to get along as a social politeness


Now this is where my little white lie fits in and by Dr Ludwig’s definition, I am excused my lapse. Except for one thing. It is sitting on my conscience like a blot, and I will not know any peace for having told it until I unburden my heart to my Maker in prayer. Which is what He asks of me anyway, I think. So off I will go to pay my penance and to ask that He forgive me this indiscretion. Then again, the good Lord well knows that this isn’t my first “mea culpa” to Him, and it most certainly will not be my last! James 5:16 ESV, seems to agree, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” Then again, as we read in Hebrews10:26 ESV, “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins..” So do you think that given my propensity for telling those little white lies, that perhaps I better keep my fingers, toes and anything else I can manage, crossed?


My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

1 John 2:1-6 ESV


Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry


About Mandy Bruscella

Mandy's Story: As a Registered Professional Nurse with Certification in a number of specialties including home care, I was afforded the opportunity of working closely with various Social Service Agencies in NY and NJ. ~ A lifelong Christian, I was ordained as a Presbyterian deacon in 1993 and, after relocating to SC in 2000, elected to become ordained as a non-denominational minister. ~ I established "MandysPath" Ministry in 2011. "MandysPath" Ministry is a member of Pacific Life Church, El Sobrante, CA, network of ministries. ~ I direct an outreach ministry in an alternative setting, providing spiritual care to a congregation of more than 500 people from around the world via the Internet. ~ As part of this outreach, I write a daily faith based blog. In March, 2012 I was asked to become a board member of Heroes For Children which is a non-profit foundation, established to assists the Guardian ad Litem program of Horry County, SC. Guardians ad Litem are a group of court appointed advocates who represent the best interests of children in Family Court proceedings involving allegations of abuse or neglect. Working closely with these men and women who make a difference in the lives of children, I completed training and have been sworn in to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of South Carolina . ~ I have been married since 1975 to a wonderful man, Daniel. I have a son Daniel and his wife Melissa who live in NYC. My daughter Sabrina and my grandson Landon live here in SC. ~ My father Harold continues to share his wisdom with me and is responsible for many of the ideas I write about!

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