Is there such a thing as a clean lie or a white lie? Can I say something that is not factual and yet be truthful? This is to say, can I out of kindness not tell someone the truth when I speak to them? These have been a long-term personal debate.
I do not refer to keeping information and truth to myself. I am also not referring to refusing to answer questions or divulging information. I know that I can practice these and still be a truthful man that the Lord delights in.
Jesus always was truthful. He often began statements with, “I tell you the truth…” Jesus did not have lying lips. And I am amazed at how Jesus answered people and how he addressed people. What drove such wisdom? How can a person be compassionate and truthful? Yet I see that at times Jesus’ words cut to the heart. Always they were said with love and compassion.
Perhaps what I should answer when asked a question that seems to require a cutting answer is a loving truth. A husband and a wife must always be truthful. They need to trust that their spouse’s lips are not lying. The covenant of truth and trust is a vital part of love and respect.
If I prepare a meal that my spouse says was delicious when it wasn’t we may go on eating a bad meal for years. If I believe that a trip is not wise, I need to kindly speak up or a week may not be a time to remember. Yet I also need to say, “Though I do not like the taste of this and I do not have good expectations concerning this trip I will keep an open mind,” for a kernel of wheat must die to produce more grain and hot spice and ketchup changes the taste of poorly prepared food.