There are times when it is hard for us to tell the truth. I am not talking about telling a bold-faced lie. Rather, I am talking about those situations in which it's difficult to tell the truth because you don't want to hurt someone's feelings.
There are many ways we can lie. For example, think of those times when someone asks for your opinion on something. "What do you think?" they will say.
So you might tell a little white lie. "Well, I have never seen anything quite like it!" or "That's one of the most fascinating performances I've ever seen!"
Then there are those instances when someone calls, and you don't want to answer the phone. So you say, "Tell them I'm not home."
What about those times when you say, "I forgot," and you didn't forget, or "It was the traffic," and it wasn't the traffic, or "I am so glad you called. I was just getting ready to call you," and you weren't.
There are other ways we can lie as well, and that is through gossip. Gossip topples governments, wrecks marriages, ruins careers, destroys reputations, and causes nightmares. It spawns suspicions and generates grief. Even the very word hisses when we say it: gossip
. It really is from the Serpent. Proverbs 20:19 says, "He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips."
A helpful principle before you repeat something can be summed up in one word: THINK
. Ask yourself these questions the next time you're about to repeat information:
T—Is it truthful? Are you sure it's true?H—Is it helpful?I—Is it inspiring?N—Is it necessary?K—Is it kind?
If it doesn't pass that test, then don't say it.