Sin is sin
Growing up, when my mom caught me in a lie and asked me to explain myself, I told her that I lied to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. She told me not to make a habit of lying, that it is “okay” to tell a “white lie,” from time to time just not a “black lie.” She explained that a “white lie” signified a small sin that was more of a falsehood (Okay! That’s what a lie is!) but that a “black lie,” is an evil that would stain my soul.
It was terrifying!
I went to my room and began calculating how many “white vs black lies” I had told and I was deeply troubled (there’s a confession!)
It seemed confounding that one who claimed to be a Christ-follower (bless you, mom!) would justify any kind of lying as though a white lie was authorized by God.
Over the years of gaining more spiritual insight, I came to realize that a lie is a lie is a lie, or a sin is sin, great or small, but let’s identify what a sin is. To sin means; “missing the mark.” http://biblehub.com/greek/266.htm
I understand that to suggest, we miss the point about God, that we often fail in the human condition, falling well below the standard Godliness. St. Augustine defines it as, "Sin is nothing else than to neglect eternal things, and seek after temporal things.” St. Augustine
The lie derived from none other than the liar. To quote Jesus in John 8:44, he said, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” NIV
Siding with the liar even just a little, suggests that we have turned away from incorruptibility and that one slight turn could lead us so far off the path of righteousness that we become susceptible to all kinds of danger. One small sin, one white lie is no small thing!
I think of a small sin or a white lie in this way;
The poison dart frog, which is no bigger than a thumb nail, is bright and fauve, and has enough poison to kill 10 humans!
And then there is the mosquito. Yes, a tiny mosquito. Mosquitos are responsible for 2 million deaths a year, causing Malaria, yellow and dengue fever.
There is the blue-ringed octopus found in the waters of Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia and the Philippines. It is “half the size of a golf ball,” but its sting can cause cardiac arrest. http://all-that-is-interesting.com/the-worlds-six-smallest-and-deadliest-animals
Those are just some of the smallest but deadliest creatures, which symbolize that small doesn’t mean harmless.
There are many more examples of how one small sin can cause havoc, accidents and even death.
I received a call from a woman who was deeply disturbed abut her daughter’s pattern of lying and needed a resolve. She repeatedly told to her daughter to close their front door, so their dog would not get out. This was a constant ordeal, especially because they lived on a busy street. One morning before school as the daughter was getting her rain boots from the porch, she left the front door open, but when her mom asked her if she had remembered to close it, she said she had. The daughter then snuck over to actually close the door, but it was too late. Their dog had gotten out and was hit by a car.
Small lies, white lies, little sins all add up to an offhanded mentality,” and this attitude left rationalized and unchanged leads to a life of telling more lies resulting in missing the mark in greater ways.
In the book of Revelation in chapter 12, a woman is faced with the “great red dragon” who is trying to “devour” her child and kill her. I envision that this dragon was once the serpent in Gen. II, who beguiled Eve and I cannot help but wonder what would have happened if she had just heeled in its head as it was tempting her thereby obliterating the enticer and preventing it from ever having had the chance of growing into that predominant threat.
Let us learn from this allegory that it is wise to stomp out the temptation to lie and instead, take up the practice of telling the truth and even though telling a lie seems to be the best option to save face, in the long run, it will prove to be a most detrimental decision. “Anything is better than lies and deceit!” ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina.
I came across this verse in Prov. 27:6, “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy,” that inspired me to work on being very courageous to break the habit of lying in order to protect someone else’s feelings, because in reality, by being dishonest, I was damaging my own integrity. I was not considering the aftereffects nor did I realize that I was allowing diffidence to control me. I had become enslaved to the habit and justified it by absurd self-righteous reasoning.
Honesty is salutary and it does require prudence when vocalizing it for the results to be most efficacious. So the sooner you practice it the better you will become at it.