Is It Always Essential To Tell The Truth, Or Are There Circumstances In Which It Is Better To Lie?

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.”

~ William Faulkner

Is it always essential to tell the truth, or are there circumstances in which it is better to lie? That is the question.

The Bible, our rule book for life, tells us not to bear false witness (Leviticus 19:11). However, it includes instances when people have lied. Sometimes, these people were even seem to be rewarded for telling lies. Such a case was with the prostitute Rahab when she hid the spies, defied her leaders, and lied that she did not have them. This done, her life was spared. Not only this, but she had the honor of being the great-great-great-(so-on)-grandmother of Christ (please note that I am saying the grandmother of Christ’s body, so that he could be fully man as well as fully God).

The Bible also has instances where people were punished for lying or trying to pass things off as something they were not. Such an instance is recorded in Acts 5 in the situation of Ananias and Sapphira. Ananias tried to pass it off as giving all his profits (from a property he had sold) to the apostles. Ananias soon no longer existed. Later his wife also lied about the profits. Now both he and his wife were dead.

With this in mind, let’s proceed.

It has been my experience, that over all, the Bible is pro-life. What I mean by this is that if your sheep falls in a well on the Sabbath, you should pull it out; therefore doing work. However, this preserves life.  With Rahab, when she hid the spies, her lie preserved life.  When the great assassination of the Jews was taking place, people like the famed Ten Booms, took them in. This not only defied evil government authority (which is a conversation for another time), but also made them pass off a lie. This situation, however, also preserved the lives of the Jews.

Now, you may be saying, “But the Bible talks about killing people in verses like: ‘Kill the Canaanites, Perizzites, (and a bunch of the other ‘ites’), etc.’ How is this pro life?” I believe that these people were disobeying God. Whether that is idolatry, thievery, murder, or any other sin. It seems that God wanted to destroy them; to wipe evil off the face of the earth. I also believe that there was a certain DNA with some of these people that was not supposed to be mixed or mingled with the human blood-lines (but that too is a conversation for another time). But you can see how because of this disobedience it could cause God to want to keep only the people on earth who will respect Him and also His chosen people.

Truth telling is also important because it helps make people trust you. If you deceive people, or even just joke around too much, people won’t know when they can trust you. If you want people to take you seriously, enjoy being around you, and think of you as a person they could trust with their life, telling the truth is pretty much always the best way to go. Remember the saying that goes, “Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.”

In conclusion, it is always important to tell the truth if you want people to trust you. However, when you come into a situation when lie meets life, read the Bible, listen to see what God is telling you to do in the situation.

Nonetheless, choose life.



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