Is there ever a time when I should not tell the truth?
Ephesians 4:29 says “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Four verses earlier Paul says “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”
Yet we do have some biblical incidents when people lied and was blessed by God. One is in Exodus 1. Here, we’re told that the Egyptians began to fear the Israelites that lived in their country. And the Pharaoh ordered the Hebrew mid-wives who always helped women deliver their babies: "When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live."The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, "Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?"The midwives answered Pharaoh, "Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive." (Exodus 1:16-19)
Now, were the mid-wives honest? No… they lied!These women were speaking to the Hitler of their day, the Stalin of their era. He was thug intent upon murdering all the boy children in Israel. Had they told him the truth there is no telling what evil he would have devised.
BUT THEY LIED! Yep they did. And how did God respond? “So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.” Exodus 1:20-21
He rewarded them! WHY? Because, what they did, they did for God. They didn’t lie because they feared for their own lives. They lied because they “feared God.”
Is there any lesson from this event? What would you say to this statement? “The only time we shouldn’t be telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth… is when that truth damages and destroys the people around us.” Does this wxcuse beign less than truthful in certain situations?
Jeff Strite shares the following story:
I once knew a man who was “honest” with his wife. He told her what a bad housekeeper she was. He told her what a rotten mother she was. He told her how unattractive she was. He emotionally brow beat her until she began to tell falsehoods to protect herself from his constant accusations.THEN when he caught her telling those lies… he told her that she was a liar.
Now what he told her always had a measure of truth to it.
· She probably wasn’t the best housekeeper in the world
· She probably wasn’t the perfect mother
· She may not have won any beauty contests
· AND she did lie to avoid his emotional abuse
This husband spoke “truth” to his wife: But it wasn’t a “wholesome” truthIt was NOT a truth he used to “edify” her. It was truth intended to drag her down and destroy her.
Paul tells us: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Eph. 4:29)And: We should always “Be kind and compassionate to one another... "
What do you think?