© 2004: Josprel (Joseph Perrello)
"Lying in Color"
Humorous Truth with a Purpose
Lying in Color
Have you ever noticed that many people color the lies they tell? To them, lies apparently come in a verity of hues. There are white lies, black lies and lies in several shades between these two extremes. As may be expected, those who follow the art of color-lying grow more proficient the longer they practice it. They often claim the best of intentions when using color-lies.
Black-liars tend to be a malicious lot. The lies they tell are self-serving ones. Among many other things, they may lie on job applications, falsify educational credentials, embellish military service records, and misrepresent credit histories. They tend to live a life of lies by cheating on their spouses, lying in order to deflect the consequences of their actions to others; they may doctor the account books of their business affairs. Color-liars of other hues tend to view black-liars with profound scorn. White-liars especially look down their noses at black-liars, claiming that they deserve to be sent to the hottest section of the Lake of Fire - right smack in the center of it. Black-liars, on the other hand, respond to other color-liars by calling them hypocritical snobs, who make as fine a kindling for the Lake of Fire as they do.
Dark gray-liars merge from the fringes of black-liars and are somewhat self-righteous in their attitude towards them. Most politicians practice gray-lying, often claiming they do so for the good of their constituents. Yet, these constituents mostly do not comprehend the gray-lies told them by their politicians. And why should they? The man in the street is a mostly rational being, while grey-lying politicians practice a policy of constituency neglect, saying that the average citizen can't possibly understand the mechanism of political agendas. The Congressional records are inked with the myriad gray-lies contained in the hot-air speeches of verbose politicians practicing the art of grey-lying. If congressional walls could speak what they hear, gray-lies would be their singular vocabulary.
That brings us to the light gray-liars. Light gray-liars seem to thrive on the fact that they are neither black-liars nor dark-gray liars. They lambaste both, claiming that these two categories of color-liars give all color-liars a bad reputation; nonetheless, this analysis of fellow color-liars by light gray-liars does not compute well, since it amounts to the proverbial pot calling the well-known kettle "black." When light gray-liars point the finger at other color-liars, they often are told to remember that at least three of their fingers are pointing back at themselves. Light gray-liars also encompass teachers and preachers - the former because they teach false theories, such as evolution, transcendental meditation, mind-control, Eastern philosophies, and even witchcraft, though compelled to do so; the latter, because they fail to take a public stand against the evils in our society, thus making them collaborators- by-silence. Perhaps, since teachers and preachers have such a molding effect on the character of our society, they should be included in the black-liars or dark gray-liars categories. But let's be charitable to them; perhaps they know not what they do.
Skipping the other shades of gray-liars, we go to the white-liar category. Ahhh, those white-liars! They are unrivaled among color-liars. To hear them tell it, one would think they consider themselves God's holy elite. According to their point of view, white-liars have the sanctity of heaven on their lies. After all, they lie for the purest of motives, or so they say. White-liars hang the white-lie tag on such lies as claiming to be not home when one does not wish to accept a phone call. Employers often use it when ordering a secretary to say he or she is not in the office in order to avoid speaking to a caller. The white-lie label also is stamped on lies that are told when telling someone the truth may hurt the person's feelings. Women sometimes practice the art of the white-lie when pretending to admire a friend's new acquisition, even though they know the item is totally inappropriate for the person. A husband may do the same when admiring his wife's new hat. He white-lies by saying it looks beautiful on her, when he knows it makes her head look like a flower pot or a feather duster. After all, they're only white-lies, aren't they? Why hurt a person's feelings.
White-liars make it appears that practicing the art of white-lying will earn them a place next to the Great White Throne. They say they're just being kind, since telling the truth would tend to embarrass those to whom they white-lie. Yes, there are numerous situations in which the white-lie may be practiced and its use rationalized. It's a holy lie, isn't it? They say!
But what does God's Word say?
"But as for . . . the unbelieving . . . murderers . . . and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. . . (Rev. 21:8).
"Let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil" (Mat. 5:37).
It appears that God takes any form or color of lying seriously.
So what should one do when speaking the truth would unduly hurt someone?
1. Whisper a prayer for wisdom and attempt to remain silent; we need not give an answer to every comment or question. Sometimes, just a smile will suffice.
2. Believe that God will grant the wisdom you seek.
3. If a smiling silence doesn't suffice, give as tactful a response as possible without lying.
4. If the person requires a fuller response, speak the truth in love. The person expects that from you. Love and the Bible require that you speak the truth if silence does not suffice.
5. The truth may or may not offend the person to whom it is spoken. If it does, you must remember that the person demanded it of you. Gently remind the person of this. Explain that you respect the person too much to lie to him or her. Attempt to apply the balm of love to the offended person. If the person was not offended by hearing the truth, you have made a new friend or solidified an already existing friendship. In either case, you were obedient to the biblical injunction that believers are not to tell lies of any kind, but rather, they are to speak the truth in love.
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