Telling lies. Is it ever acceptable?

A little lie, and very typical of teenagers to be fair, prompted the random thoughts in my head this morning.

What was the little lie?  I asked whether one of my children had washed properly this morning and the indignant answer I received was;

“Yes!  Of course I have!”  Clearly the look on my face  was enough because this was quickly followed by a very grumpy “I have! For goodness sake, you never believe me.”

Now the thing is, before I leave for work I check the bathrooms to make sure taps are off, towels are hung up, no lumps of toothpaste are lurking in the sink – if you’re a parent I’m sure you know the drill.  Well this morning I was amazed to discover not only was the towel not on the drier, there wasn’t one there at all, nor was it hanging on said teenagers bedroom radiator!   I’ve had five children so I know the phase they go through where washing properly means (to them at least) that some water actually touched their hands and face.  Even so, one would expect to find a damp-ish towel somewhere. So, a little fib about washing – I still don’t know what the aversion to soap and water is with teenagers – I guess that could be a post all of its own.


It may not always be clear from some of my posts but my faith is very important to me, so is treating people with respect and truthfulness, whatever the consequences that truth may have.  For instance, if the children have done something wrong, or broken something I’m obviously not happy, but what makes me really mad is if they lie to me about it.  In fact if they do they would be in more trouble and lose more of their privileges than they would have done by being honest, and they know this.

That little, none-life threatening fib got me thinking, so I turned to the Bible because the words that kept going through my head were

“…for he is a liar and the father of lies”

John (8:44) is of course talking about the devil here.  In Colossians 3:19 the Bible tells us,

“Do not lie to each other…”

and in Leviticus 19:11

“Do not steal.  Do not lie.  Do not deceive one another.”

There are countless other examples which make it quite clear how we should behave, and speak to one another, always with love and always in ‘truth’.  So could there ever be an occasion where it is acceptable to lie?  I would have to say NO! There is no situation where, from God’s standpoint, lying would be  acceptable.

And yet…

I am no scholar, and certainly no theologian but reading Joshua at the part where Rahab hid two of his spies under the flax on her roof, and then told the king of Jericho’s messengers that she had seen them but they had left when the time came to close the city gates saying,  “Go quickly and you may catch them” – well wasn’t that a lie? Did she not deceive the king’s messenger?

Rahab and her family were saved by her actions.

Peter denied Jesus three times and he was still forgiven, yet when Ananias and his wife Sapphira lied they immediately lost there lives!

Confusing isn’t it?

I often discover more questions than answers in the Book I most love.  Perhaps this is all part of the journey and the massive amount of learning I still need to do.  It is only by reading the Bible and being open to the Holy Spirit’s teaching and enlightenment that some things become clearer.  This is not one of them. At least not at the moment.

I do not advocate lying.  I don’t like it and I don’t think it does anyone any good. It hurts everyone – the telling the lies and the one being lied to.  But, I  have no doubt if a situation arose where the truth would risk the very life of one of my children or other family member (God forbid such a thing ever happens), and I cannot think of a for instance,  I may well be prepared to lie to save them.

So I will continue to teach my children that lying is not the way to go and that truth is always the best opiton to take because, in my experience, when you are lied to the damage can be irreparable and so the consequences are too great.

The TRUTH really does set you free.

All this from a teenager fibbing about having a wash, crazy I know, but that’s how the random thoughts in my head work.

Be blessed, be honest, be free.



6 thoughts on “Telling lies. Is it ever acceptable?

    1. Thank you for your comment, and for the follow.
      I agree that there is no ‘one size fits all’. We can only hope we make the right choice at the time of any given situation. Have a great weekend 🙂


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