Read Amos 2
Focus on verse 4
“It’s just a little white lie.” Perhaps you have heard this rationale used in an attempt to justify being less than truthful. The questions that come to my mind are; what are the criteria that differentiate a “little” lie from a “big” lie, and secondly, how do you know it is a white lie? What if it is actually a very light shade of grey? How much grey does it have to contain before it is called a “grey” lie? Seems ridiculous right? A little white lie is the lie that we presume won’t harm anyone, but how do we know it won’t harm someone down the road… you know, when it grows up and becomes a “big black lie”!
That is the problem with little white lies after all, is it not? They grow up to become big black ones, and nobody likes the big black ones! The little white ones are cute like kittens. The big black ones are ugly like trolls!
In our reading today, we find God rebuking the nation of Judah for rejecting His laws and not keeping His statutes. He says their “lies have led them astray”…which is about what one should expect from a lie. The purpose of a lie is, after all, to deceive. Now, granted there are times when this deception is well intentioned, but very often even these well intentioned lies take on a life of their own and grow into something ugly that ends up tromping around, breaking stuff and hurting people.
In Psalm 119 the psalmist writes of his love for truth, and how the law of the Lord is Truth. In the New Testament Jesus is quoted as saying “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
The truth about little white lies is that they are merely a gateway to big black lies, and big black lies lead to bondage, destruction and death. On the other hand the truth about truth is that, though it is often harder to tell the truth, it is the truth that sets us free from the bondage of deception.
Another way to think about this is to recall that Jesus called Himself “the Truth”. In John 14:6 He says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus not only is the Truth, He is the truth that sets us free from the bondage of Satan’s deception. Satan is known as “the father of lies”. He cannot tell the truth because his nature is to lie. His method of control is to use deception, and his objective is utter and complete destruction of everything God made.
Wherever we find hatred, violence and human suffering, we find the fingerprints of Satan and his deceptive scheming. Wherever we find love, joy and peace, we find the nail prints of Jesus, who sets us free by the power of the blood He shed to pay for our redemption. So ultimately, the truth about little white lies is that there is no such thing. Little white lies are simply big black lies in disguise, designed to deceive us into crafting our own destruction.