When is it wrong to tell a lie, and when is it OK to shade the truth a little? I admit I don't always tell the truth but it's usually about things that don't make any difference. — Z.J.
A lie might not seem important to us—but in God's eyes there is no such thing as a harmless lie. In the Old Testament, one of the Ten Commandments declares, "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor" (Exodus 20:16). The New Testament says, "Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor" (Ephesians 4:25).
Why is this? Let me answer by asking you another question: Have you ever asked yourself why you lie—even when it seems unimportant? One reason may be to build yourself up in the eyes of others—to make yourself seem more important, for example, or to get them to like you. Or perhaps you lie to get yourself out of some difficulty—a difficulty you've gotten into because you failed to do something you should have done.
But whatever the reason, have you ever asked yourself what really happens when other people realize you're lying to them? The answer is obvious. Instead of thinking well of you, they look down on you and realize you can't be trusted. Instead of winning their love and respect, you end up with their scorn. The Bible says, "What a man desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar" (Proverbs 19:22).
Begin a new life today by giving your life to Christ and asking Him to come into your heart. Then ask Him to watch over your tongue and help you always speak the truth.