Ok. That title is somewhat deceptive. In reality there is no gray area only true or false. But that is not how we think is it?
Good, God-fearing Christians know better than to out and out tell obvious, bold face lies. We don’t typically do it. However, we have invented an area of lying that is neither white nor black. It is gray. And if good, God-fearing Christian people are going to lie, we try to keep our lying within the boundaries of this gray area. This most certainly is how I lie. Rarely do I tell big, black, blatant and obvious lies. However, I can be tempted to lie, which sometimes is called “spinning” the truth. Here are three examples of “Christian lying.”
- Taking Away From the Truth: Truth is truth and to take away from the truth makes truth an untruth. If my family finds a Dunkin Donuts bag in my car and I tell them I went in to get a cup of coffee but leave out the part about the Blueberry Cake Donut, I have deceived. And to intentionally leave out parts of the truth, when we know better, many times is motivated by a desire to deceive. Altering the truth is a lie.
- Adding To The Truth: To embellish is to lie. This is taking the truth and adding more to it than what the truth is. When a politician says, “The American people want______________” is embellishing because not every American person may want___________. To spin things for effect or to make yourself look better than you really are is a lie.
- Avoiding The Truth: This is an evasive tactic. This is another temptation for me. When I’m pressed to tell someone my real sin issues I’m tempted to avoid the truth because I do not want them to know the real truth. I evade. I’m dishonest. I’m a liar. In this moment my self-righteousness kicks-in and I do whatever I need to do to avoid the truth. There is another word for presenting myself as better than I am: HYPOCRISY.
One final thought: Most of us are tempted to lie in this gray world of neither truth nor lying. But the truth is, lying is lying.