What Color Was It?

“I have no idea how it happened. I didn’t break it.”

Ever hear such words from your teenager? Well, it may be true that he/she doesn’t know and didn’t break it. On the other hand, the statement may be a lie.

“Aw, c’mon,” someone says. “It was only a ‘white lie,’ or as we sometimes call it, ‘a fib.'”

No. It wasn’t anything of the sort. It was a lie. Are you in the habit of excusing what seem to be trivial matters about which a person lies, as something else? If you are, you aren’t doing him a favor—as you may suppose you are. You are encouraging him to lie. Today it may be something seemingly ‘minor’ to you; tomorrow the lie may involve what you consider a quite serious matter. But it’s never right to use terms that sanitize sin. And lies, other than in war, are sin.

Rahab lied, true. She had put her faith in the God of Israel (Hebrews 11:31 says so), about Whom she had heard marvelous things. So, when the authorities came to her house she lied to them saying that she was not housing the spies, and that they had gone, uh . . . “that-a-way.” This lie was commended as the result of her faith in a time of war. Apart from such a circumstance as that, you won’t find lies commended in the Scriptures. False witness is false witness; not something else.

So, in the training of your children, don’t encourage them to lie by excusing their lies as only minor “fibs.” They are not “white” lies—they are as red as crimson; as vivid as scarlet. If Jesus suffered on the cross for our lies, Christian, can they be “trivial” or “minor?” Think about that.

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