You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (Ex. 20:16)

“Each of us fibs at least fifty times a day,” claimed Jerald Jellison in USA Today. He suggested people lie about their age, their income, and their accomplishments. They may fib to escape embarrassment or to protect someone’s feelings. He said these are the most common lies:

“I wasn’t feeling well.”

“I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.”

“The check is in the mail.”

“I was just kidding.”

“I was only trying to help.”

I would challenge Mr. Jellison’s contention that all of us fib fifty times a day. I can’t believe my friends and acquaintances are that dishonest. Nevertheless, the temptation is there to shade the truth, to make ourselves look a little better, or to put ourselves in a better light. The renowned jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle that fits them all.”

Have you noticed how often one lie seems to require another and another, just to prop up the first one? John Mason warned, “Those who are given to white lies soon become color blind.” He also observed, “Each time you are honest, you propel yourself toward greater success. Each time you lie, even a little white lie, you push yourself toward failure.”

Jesus said, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’” (Matt. 5:37). No embellishment necessary.

Tell the truth then you don’t have to remember what you said.

Ron McClung lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife Carol. He has written his weekly column, Positive Perspective, for more than thirty years.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.