Posted by Elaine Marie Cooper
In a rare moment of sitting in front of the TV—and actually paying attention to it—I caught an episode of “Little House On The Prairie.” I was waiting for my husband to come home for dinner and, tired from working on my writing all day, I was ready to relax and enjoy some wholesome entertainment.
And then it happened: Pa Ingalls said a blatant lie.
Pa Ingalls? No way!
Yes, way, and he got his son-in-law Almanzo in on it, lying to their wives about a bet they had made. (Oh great, this was apparently a gamble as well…) They laughed about the deception, treating the whole matter with light-hearted humor. Ha, ha.
That evening, another comedy came on that my husband and I were watching on a generally family-friendly channel. More lying. More deception. Again, it was treated as a joke, followed by uproarious laughs.
This time, I wasn’t laughing much.
Especially because, just a week prior to these programs, the Holy Spirit had burned into my conscience about an incident that many would have referred to as a “white lie”…whatever that is.
A workman had come to my home to assess a situation and it was determined that he would likely return in the spring to take care of the problem. Now, just walking into my door was supposed to cost $169.00. Ouch.
Since nothing was going to be done until spring, the workmen said, “I’ll just tell the office you cancelled and want to reschedule.”
Conviction gripped my soul. “I don’t want you to lie,” I said.
“Well, if I tell them I came, I’ll just have to do a bunch of paperwork and I’m really not doing anything today.”
I reluctantly agreed, inwardly relieved that I didn’t have to fork over the $169.
Of course, the next morning during my quiet time with the Lord, I felt anything but relieved. I felt downright guilty.
I knew I was going to have to call that office and get it right. I prayed I would do it in such a way as to deflect any guilt away from the worker, and put it on myself. I prayed, picked up the phone, and asked if I needed to pay for the short visit the day before. I even admitted I was a Christian and wanted to be completely upfront in case I owed anything for the visit, even though I had no plans to have an assessment until spring.
It was a humbling moment. Thank the Lord, the woman was very gracious and said that I could just pay the fee when they come to do the estimate in spring.
I hung up, breathed a sigh of relief, and thanked God for His grace. And I asked God to forgive me of this “white lie” which, of course, was just a lie, pure and simple.
How easily we can fall into these little traps of untruth. Pa Ingalls did it. It must be OK.
But perhaps we need to look at the Purveyor of truth on the matter. There is much to say in God’s Word about lying and I, for one, prefer to check with HIM over any other source.
“A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.” (Proverbs 21:6 NIV)
“The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.” (Proverbs 12:22 NIV)
“When he (the devil) lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44b NIV)
“Therefore, each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” (Ephesians 4:25 NIV)