Sometimes, we exaggerate the good things to look a little better to impress people, and we downplay the bad things so we don’t look so foolish. Both of these are, in fact, lies. Partial truths are also partial lies, designed to “save face” by giving enough truth to avoid outright lying but not enough to expose our stupidity and sin. Tell the truth—the whole truth, the first time. It saves a world of trouble.
I scheduled a meeting with one of our team members for 10:00 in the morning. At ten minutes past that time, he wasn’t there, so I called him. He said, “I’m on my way. Be there in a sec.”
I could hear his television in the background, so I knew he was still in his apartment. When he arrived, I asked him about it. He explained, “I’d forgotten about our meeting. When I saw your name on the caller ID, I started walking toward the door as I answered. So, technically, I was on my way.” His answer didn’t do a lot to build trust in our relationship.
One of my Kids Ministry leaders was supposed to make a bunch of phone calls for me. After a few days, I asked, “How are those phone calls coming?”
She replied, “I haven’t talked to everyone yet.”
When I pressed her on it, she admitted she hadn’t tried to call anyone. She tried to convince me she’d told the truth that she hadn’t “talked to everyone yet,” but I carefully explained that her statement was purposely misleading.
In our relationships, we need to tell the whole truth the first time. After all, some people have the same habit that my pastor does. He’ll ask questions that he already knows the answers to in order to determine if you’re telling the whole truth or not. It’s a lot better to tell the truth than to develop the reputation of being a liar. That doesn’t represent our Lord Jesus Christ well – not at all.