When is it okay to lie?

“Faith, do NOT put those Barbie beads in your mouth. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Mama.”

However… For some odd reason, my little 4-year-old self was obsessed with the idea of having braces, and I thought that string of Barbie pearls looked like the perfect set of play braces to put on my perfectly straight baby teeth….

 

About 5 minutes go by and I have been holding those amazing fake braces over my teeth, admiring them in the full-length mirrors that covered my closet doors when I heard my Mom say from the kitchen…

 

“Faith, you didn’t put those beads in your mouth, did you?”

So I ran and hid… In my Mom’s closet… Solid logic for a 4-year-old.

When my mom found me, she gave me one more chance to redeem myself.

“Faith, did you put those beads in your mouth after I told you not to?”

“No”, I replied

“Give me the beads”, she said.

I handed her the slobber covered beads and the discipline ensued...

 

I vividly remember this moment. Not because I was scared of my mom or scarred for life or anything like that, but because lying had consequences. Being disobedient would have still earned me some punishment, but being disobedient and then lying about it… that made everything worse.

DO NOT LIE has been a lesson that stuck with me for-eva…

Now, I would love to say that Little Miss Faith learned her lesson perfectly and never ever ever lied again in her born days. That would have been ideal. However, like every human that ever walked the planet, I messed up more than once.  But God’s grace has enabled me to rise again and continue to grow in a holy reflection of the God whom I serve.

Lying seems to be one of those issues that we people still struggle with. I mean, God clearly defines it as wrong, something that is not pleasing to Him.

Exodus 20:16

Colossians 3:9-10

But a little, “white” lie? Or just a touch of flattery? I mean, it might make someone feel better, and that’s loving, right? What’s the harm?

“You don’t even look pregnant,” the well-meaning lady said…

“Oh, no. I do. And its okay because I AM 7 months pregnant.” I replied as I stared at my baby bump that stuck out a good 10 inches or more.

She meant it to be flattering and was spoken with kindness, but I DID look pregnant.

Sometimes I think people say things like that because they really don’t know what else to say. It’s not meant to be malicious or hurtful, but it is still flattery. And I get it. Really, I do.

But flattery, at its core, is a lie.

 

A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Proverbs 26:28

 

Flattery is really just a polished lie meant to protect YOU from the possible backlash of telling the truth.

Flattery is rooted in fear of man instead of the fear of God, and it can only lead to ruin.

Photo by Yannick Pulver on Unsplash

 

Flattery might make someone feel good for the moment, but in the end, it will hurt them more than the truth spoken in love ever would have.

 

Remember those HORRIBLY embarrassing American Idol auditions that we all loved to watch? Some of those people legitimately thought that they could sing and sing well enough to win a nation-wide contest. But because someone, or several someones failed to tell them the truth in love, that their gift was not singing, but instead were exceptionally good at ______ they embarrassed themselves on national television.

Because they were flattered instead of told the truth, they wasted who knows how many hours practicing for and pursuing something that they were never gifted to do in the first place.

 

Better is an open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Proverbs 27:5-6

 

My core group of people, my inner circle friends tell me the truth no matter what. It is part of what makes them so valuable and treasured in my life. The truth they speak to me in love may hurt at first, but in the end, it helps save me from ruin.

Sometimes, or really MOST of the time, it is SOOO much easier in the moment to tell people what they want to hear, to flatter, or to tell a “little, white lie” to avoid discussing a deeper and much more sensitive issue.

But in the long run…  flattery kills relationships, brings about ruin, and HURTS the other person.

 

Photo by Ezra Jeffrey on Unsplash

Photo by Ezra Jeffrey on Unsplash

When you KNOW someone will only ever tell you the truth and NOT flatter you, it develops a level of trust and intimacy like never before.

Yes, the truth needs to be ALWAYS spoken in love. Only say it if it will minister grace {God’s divine empowerment to live like Jesus} to their life.

Saying the truth in love also means that you say it with their best interest in mind, and in a way that will reach them, in a way that reflects the Father’s heart. 

But let’s get past this white lie, flattery culture that is so easy to fall into.

Jesus did NOT flatter or patronize yet He was always love in action.

Photo by Yuting Wang on Unsplash

Photo by Yuting Wang on Unsplash

What about you? Is it hard for you to tell the truth instead of flatter? 

Is it harder for you to tell the truth in LOVE?

 

Blog Title Photo by vision webagency on Unsplash