By Rev. Dr. Rick Chesher
Recently I was involved in a conversation with people about the subject of lying to one another. The question came up “Is it ok to lie to one another if it is just a small thing that doesn’t hurt anyone?” For instance, is it ok to tell someone they look good when in reality they don’t?
My mind went to Bill Egvel,( not sure of the spelling), he is a comedian. He did a routine on a man having his wife come to him and ask if she looked fat. Bill makes this sound of a shot gun being cocked, and then said, no honey you look great, (this is not word for word).
Bill is certainly funny and it makes us laugh at what he is saying because we have all been in that situation before and we have face those questions from people we care about. But the truth is this does bring up a good question. Do we believe in ethics that are absolute or do we believe in situational ethics?
Scripture says in Ephesians 4: 17-27,
“Eph 4:17 Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts.
Eph 4:18 They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts.
Eph 4:19 They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.
Eph 4:20 But that is not how you learned about the Messiah,
Eph 4:21 assuming you heard Him and were taught by Him, because the truth is in Jesus:
Eph 4:22 you took off your former way of life, the old man that is corrupted by deceitful desires;
Eph 4:23 you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds;
Eph 4:24 you put on the new man, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.
Eph 4:25 Since you put away lying, Speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another.
Eph 4:26 Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger,
Eph 4:27 and don’t give the Devil an opportunity. “
It would seem to me the Bible teaches absolute ethics and really wants us to
speak the truth in love to one another. Proverbs 26:7 says, “the wounds of a
friend are trustworthy, but the kisses of the enemy is excessive.”
So maybe the truth is better coming from a friend who loves us, then from our
enemies who don’t and couldn’t care less about how they make us feel. I was
also told to always tell the truth and you would never have to go back and cover
up the lies you have spoken.
So if we look at Scripture for our gage as to whether or not ethics are
situational or not, it would seem Scripture is saying no, truth is always the truth
no matter what the situation is. Ultimately, it comes down to this, in the end it is
not the people I need to stand before and be judged, it is Yahweh.