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Writer's Block

Little White Lies

Do you think it's okay to tell little lies about small things to avoid hurting someone's feelings? Or is there no such thing as a harmless lie?

Answers (231)


  • There is no such thing as a harmless lie.
     
       “ A single lie destroys a whole reputation for integrity.  - Baltasar Gracian


  • No, its not okay to tell a lie, no matter its size or its content. Lies, by definition, are something concocted to deviate from telling the truth. They are contrary to the truth! Telling lies are often times, in the long run, more harmful then telling the truth. By telling a lie, we disobey one of the ten commandments God has provided for us. That's sin. Lies are contrary to God's very nature, and so lies are wrong. Anything that seeks to cover the truth up or twist it, is wrong. Proverbs 14:5 - "A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies." We need to tell the truth.

    To avoid hurting someone's feelings? Will it not hurt more if you lie to them and they later discover that you have lied to them? Or by lying, even if that someone never found out you lied to them, did you know that you break God's heart (if you have a relationship with Him)? It grieves His heart.

    Lies are never, ever harmless. Lies have a sharp bite that scars terribly on its victims and often times, never heals properly. Lies should be something we avoid at all costs. The Bible refers to lies as being from Satan, the father of lies. That gives you a pretty clear indicator of how bad lies are. They are contrary to God's nature - being He is Truth, and Satan is the father of lies; so who's behavior are we going to emulate??

    I heard this story once, true historical story of a man who vowed he would do everything he could to not lie, wanting to please God (not man) and this was during the days where the Nazis would come in and take the Jews away....very bad times. They came up to his house and asked him demandingly if he had any Jews hiding in his household. They were hiding in his house, and it wasn't just anyone. It was his own family! (...this is a good time for a lie, right? - to save their lives? However, he vowed that he would not lie.) He told them the truth. "Yes. My whole family is here." He answered calmly. It surprised the man that the Nazis laughed and then they walked away! Besides, who in their right mind would tell the truth?? No one would tell them that their whole families were there, right? This little snippet of history is a very valuable lesson, not to be overlooked.

    We must do the hard and uncommon things and tell the truth. Tell the truth and do it in love. It is more rewarding, and better still: it is right in the sight of the Lord. (Proverbs 12:22 - "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.")

    Walk in integrity. Stand up to lies, refuse to say it, and tell the truth! You will be a becon of light shining in a dark world.
    Proverbs 2:6-8 - "For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of the saints."

  • there's always going to come a time in your life where a small lie is inevitable. i think if we all told the truth every time, none of us would have friends, or at least we'd have too many enemies. there is truth, however, in small lies getting out of hand. things have a way of escalating and sometimes people get hurt anyway. but i think it's essential to THINK before saying or telling someone something. i'm guilty, as everyone is at some point, of talking before thinking. Certain things need to be considered when it comes to white lies for example: do they REALLY need to know this truth? will it hurt them unnecessarily? it all depends but you have to make a decision based on someone's reaction, personality, etc. sometimes it's not worth telling them the truth. unless it's important, do they really need to be told? ignorance is bliss.
  • i think that if it's not a huge secret then yes it's okay to keep things held back in order to avoid hurting feelings. but if it's something that could come nack and bite you in the as* later then yeah  i would tell even if that means them getting hurt. people lie all the time, sometimes it doesn't affect us and sometimes it does.
  • I really cannot stand when people tell "white lies" in hopes of "sparing" your feelings, personally I find that they can be much more hurtful then someone being honest with me.
  • I guess they're OK as long as we do not get into the habit of lying just to spare the other persons feeling. Sometimes people need to hear the truth spoken directly in their face and sometime you just have to smile and nod.




  • I suck at lying.  I stammer, go red in the face...and I'm not convincing anyone.
    I was taught as a child that "If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all."  I was a quiet child.
    So if I can't say the truth without hurting someones feelings, then I try a variant of "I don't know how to answer that."
    I've tried avoiding the question or not saying anything at all, but that seems to lead to them thinking the worst all by themselves...and then blaming me for supposedly thinking such awful things.

    I've found that if I make a mistake, the best way is to just admit it up front ASAP, and ask what I can do to try and rectify it.  "Lets go fix it now and I'll accept whatever dressing down is deserved later." often means I don't get any dressing down at all.  The longer my mistake is covered up before being found makes things worse.

    Personally, I prefer straight up honesty.  As long as the intent isn't malicious, I'm going to be hurt less than finding out I've been lied to.
    I suspect this is because I'm not very good at taking hints that I've not come across before.  eg. "Sorry, I'm going to the museum that day."  Does it really mean that you're busy? ....Or is it a hint saying "Bugger Off!  I only hung out with you because of your cute friend!"  (yes, that's a real life example).

  • Если это какая-то "мелочь", можно и соврать. Но если это касается серьёзных вещей, лучше сказать правду, потому что всё равно ложь раскроется.

  •  Лгать вообще не красиво ( Не навижу ложь )

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