“A Little White Lie Won’t Hurt You!”
By Mavis Tipton
Proverbs 11:3 “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.”
Recently I was reading a devotion entitled “Integrity.” The word ‘integrity comes from the word ‘integer,’ a mathematical term for a whole number as opposed to a fraction. So when you walk in integrity, that means you tell the whole truth and not just a fraction of it.
In a court of law we swear under oath to tell “ the truth, the whole and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” Yet people tell half-truths, embellish the truth and slant the truth…why do we do this?
I believe it is out of fear. We fear the consequences of our actions. We don’t want people to think less of us so we hide behind half-truths. For others, it maybe for what they feel is gain. Slanting the truth to benefit themselves, and the list could go on and on why people, (even Christians), do what they do, or say what they say.
When I was growing up I remember hearing the expression; “It is ok to tell a little white lie.” So I grew up doing that even though I knew it was wrong. My father did not believe that saying, and I would get into serious trouble when caught lying.
When Buddy and I decided to get married, I made up my mind that I would no longer lie. I knew in my heart a sound marriage could not be based upon lies.
When our son Paul was growing up I would always tell him; “there are two things of great value that no one can take from you, (1) your salvation, (2) your word.”
As a proud mom I am so blessed when people in our community tell me what a great man of integrity Paul is.
We can lead by example, and we should, but the bottom line is you have to make the decision to be a man or woman of integrity.
In Genesis 27 we see how Jacob and his mother Rebekah deceived Isaac the father into giving Jacob the ‘first-born’ rights. Jacob’s name means “trickster.”
Due to Jacob’s actions he leaves home in fear of his life. On his way to his uncle Laban, Jacob has and encounter with God, and he hears these words: “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go…I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Jacob changed and he was no longer a ‘taker’ he became a ‘giver;’ however there were consequences for the deception Jacob had been a part of. Jacob paid dearly for his past actions, as he worked as a fugitive for fourteen years for his uncle Laban, who was an even bigger and better cheat than Jacob.
God blessed Jacob more than he could ever have hoped for. He returned home with a beautiful family, great riches and a new name: Israel, and he was reunited with his brother, because integrity pays dividends every time.
“The truth will set you free.”