My first rule is to do no harm. Sometimes that's unavoidable, though. If a white lie can create mistrust in a relationship, it needs to be avoided. However, if a person is so thin-skinned that a little honesty about a rather insignificant matter is going to upset them, I think there are bigger problems in the relationship that need to be addressed.
However, your question puts this all in the context of spiritual growth. In terms of spiritual growth, I think it's a matter of the intent that is in your heart. If a white lie is intended to keep from harming a sensitive person, I don't see it having a negative impact on one's spiritual growth. However, for that intent to be sincere, one should also be taking measures to address the other person's sensitivity.
answered 25 Nov '09, 09:33
I agree with John in that it is the intent behind the little white lie that really matters. If we are telling it to avoid hurting someone and genuinely have their best interests at heart, then I think it is okay. However I think we have to be very careful in discerning the reason for the telling of the little white lie, sometimes telling the truth can actually be more beneficial even if at first it seems hurtful. As the song goes sometimes "you gotta be cruel to be kind". In other words, make sure you differentiate between genuinely having the other person's interests at heart or taking the easy way and justifying it as only telling a little white lie.
answered 25 Nov '09, 14:07
Most of the time, when people ask about little white lies, they are asking whether or not they should risk hurting the other person's feelings. So here's a pop quiz for you.
If your spouse asks you:
Here are your choices:
OK, now you tell me, which is the best choice?
Later, you can have a discussion about whether or not she feels insecure in her body, and reassure her that she would look good wearing anything or nothing (if that's really how you feel, and it should be).
If your spouse is a guy, you can get him to take off that hideous tie by suggesting that he might be more comfortable in this one instead, and playfully swish the end of it on his chest. He will wear anything you say.
Extra Credit: If it's your coworker instead of your spouse, does your answer change?
I feel that sometimes the better good is done by fibbing, especially with children that are too young to deal with a difficult issue. It's a moral dilemma each time we are faced with telling a hard truth or an easy lie, and each time is different, but I do believe there are certain times when a lie is the better option; only my personal opinion after being around over 50 years now. Not only when reasoning with children who may be unable to understand an adult issue, but as a spouse, it sometimes serves the better good to please the other person rather than being selfishly honest. For example, you know your husband REALLY likes a particular restaurant, and wants to go there, which is not your favorite. He asks you, "Do you mind going there?" You want to scream YES I MIND, but kindness trumps honesty and you agree to go there for the sake of marital harmony. Is that wrong? I don't think it is!
answered 25 Nov '09, 04:17
I think its OK to tell a white lie so long as you are green, blue or purple. but if you happen to be of any other colour then you have to pick a different coloured lie.
Other than that if the intent in witholding information was to harm someone then what goes around comes around. however if the lie in question was for self protection such as the answer to the question "Give me all your money" is "I don't have a wallet" then I'm sure the other guy may have to pay a price for forcing the angel that you are to commit the terrible crime of lying.
answered 26 Nov '09, 09:13
The question about lies affecting your spiritual growth is true, You need to be true to yourself and be brutally honest with yourself. The hardest part is to see yourself for what you really are. If you decieve yourself then you are affecting your spiritual growth and you can not reach maturity without shedding all the misconceptions you have about yourself and see yourself for who you really are, Example would be; I am a good person, yet in reality I am selfserving, hedonistic and narcistic in behaviour, am I a good person. NO, a good person puts other peoples feelings first and treats them as they would want to be treated, hence the golden rule.
answered 26 Nov '09, 23:08
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