God's word in today's world

50 Shades of a white lie

We were told straight out that we must leave that old life behind. We must wash our clothes so that we can put on clean clothes again. Those dirty deeds belong in the past; the good deeds belong in the present. But it’s not a switch we can flip and suddenly we’re switched off for bad deeds and on for good deeds. No, it’s a process. A hard process to change the way we live in the world so that our actions can look better.

Fortunately by now we know the Word of God. It’s not just a bunch of theological revelations, but also contains a lot of practical assistance. We’re going to look at each one as we go forward. The first bit of practical advice: 25What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.

A friend’s husband (let’s call him Tienie) is employed by a very prominent man. This man wished to have one of his homes painted white. Tienie said OK, he will go and get the white paint. No, said the owner, he first wanted to choose the correct colour. “White is white!” said Tienie, but the owner insisted on getting white colour cards. And indeed! There are many whites, far more than Fifty Shades of Grey.

I wonder where on the colour card we’ll find a white lie. Will it be closer to white or is it white with a grey tint? I picture an angel taking someone’s white lie and comparing it to the white range of colour cards to see where it fits in. And in my mind I see the angel struggling to find a match.

You see, there is no such thing as a white lie. It’s either the truth or a lie. There’s no such thing as a half truth. It is either completely true or completely untrue. We’re easily pinned into a corner and then we tell something close to the truth and we get away with it. We don’t even feel bad, because in our mind we easily justify it. But it was not the truth and we actually misled someone.

We must delete this way of doing from our lives. The first stop is when we hear we have to take off our old dirty clothes and put on clean spiritual clothes. Be honest. Be honest to the last cent. Make sure that you convey the facts in such a way that nobody is uncertain or is misled. Let your yes be your yes and your no, your no.

The bank robber’s first robbery certainly wasn’t a bank. No, he probably started by stealing a chocolate form the cafe. The businessman caught for millions of rands of fraud most probably began with only a small fraud amount. Oh! How many important and successful people have failed because they added a little something to the truth, and before they knew it they were completely caught up in temptation.

It’s not equally easy for everybody to get rid of the dirty clothes, but if we take this seriously and allow the Holy Spirit to take control of the steering wheel of our lives, it’s a start. Make sure that you always keep to the whole truth. Don’t wonder how many shades of a white lie there are. There is no white lie. It’s white for the truth and black for untruth. No shades in-between.

Walk the road of the whole truth. That’s the road to God …


Ephesians 4:17-32


Is a white lie sometimes justified?

Do you sometimes bend the truth?

Where do you have to deal differently with the truth?


Lord, I must confess that I sometimes fall into the trap. I realise that I’ve become so used to sometimes bending the truth that I don’t even realise that I’m doing it. Forgive me. Switch on the red lights when I want to go in that direction. Please help me to speak the truth, the whole truth wherever I go. Amen

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