There are The Five Great Principles that I try to adhere to and one of them is Truthfulness, Be true to your word and let your word be true. What do you think?

asked 24 Nov '09, 23:06

Roy's gravatar image


edited 25 Nov '09, 02:36

Vesuvius's gravatar image



(24 Nov '09, 23:19) Vesuvius

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

John's gravatar image


Honesty is the best policy,Thanks John

(25 Nov '09, 13:46) Roy

Alright Dr. John to do know harm. There are sensitive people out there and we all can become sensitive for different reasons at different times. Glad you care and think before you speak and decide whether this is going to hurt this person or not how kind and considerate you are. Some people go out of their way to say things that may hurt people's feelings.

(25 Nov '09, 16:29) flowingwater

Nice to see you've registered and have a name (unknown was so impersonal). :-)

(26 Nov '09, 05:06) John

Wholeheartedly agreeing with John. Intent is everything.

But, have you noticed we all tend to judge others by their actions but judge ourselves by our intent?

(04 Dec '09, 00:18) shazsays

That certainly is the prevalent pattern. Personally, I try to look beyond people's actions to understand something of their intent, but I'll be the first to admit I don't succeed all the time. I've also made some progress, albeit less than I'd like, in evaluating/assessing (don't like that work "judge") my own behavior more honestly. Glad to have you on the site. I see you're a newly registered user (unless you've been here awhile as an unregistered user. Anyway, welcome!

(04 Dec '09, 09:48) John
showing 2 of 5 show 3 more comments

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

Michaela's gravatar image


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:

Honey does this dress make me look fat?

Here are your choices:

  1. Yes, it makes you look fat.
  2. Of course not dear, you look fine.
  3. Honey, I think you look good wearing anything, but you shouldn't wear this dress if it makes you feel uncomfortable.

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).
You know what happens next. ;)

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?


answered 24 Nov '09, 23:37

Vesuvius's gravatar image


edited 24 Nov '09, 23:48

Sorry Vesuvius I was headed somewhere else with this question I will ask it again when I have more time, Thankyou

(25 Nov '09, 00:00) Roy

Thanks Vesuvius I feel its a better question now with your input.

(25 Nov '09, 00:40) Roy

Oh dear - the dreaded "does this make me look fat?" question. I have one standard answer to this..."No dear, the dress is fine. You being fat makes you look fat". Then run for the door...quickly...very, VERY quickly

(25 Nov '09, 07:13) Stingray

Alright Stingray you are trying to get somebody in serious trouble saying that one.;)

(25 Nov '09, 16:45) flowingwater

@Stingray I seem to recall a question you asked earlier about "extreme sports?"

(26 Nov '09, 01:49) Vesuvius
showing 2 of 5 show 3 more comments

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

LeeAnn%201's gravatar image

LeeAnn 1

Its really nice to be considerate of anothers feelings but Honestly if your together, what difference does the restaurnt really make. But If you really dont like the choice what harm is there in a Suggestion. I know after all its just a meal.We have a five year old and I never know how to approach this honesty subject,We try to teach by example ,I truly don't have the answer either. Thanks LeeAnn

(25 Nov '09, 05:10) Roy

LeeAnn You could tell by the way your husband have ask you that he really wanted to go to this restaurnt and you knew if you had suggested another he would have went with what you would have suggeted. You said yes even though you didn't particularly like the place he suggested because you realize that marriage is always and give an take in an relationship. Some days and times you will be giving and others days and times you will be receiving. I use to think that marriage was an 50/50 ratio but it is an 60/40 or an 90/10 or an 30/70 in others words it varies and mutual caring is important.

(25 Nov '09, 16:37) flowingwater

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%20Traveller's gravatar image

The Traveller

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

Goodisevil's gravatar image


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Asked: 24 Nov '09, 23:06

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Last updated: 26 Nov '09, 23:08

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