Are little white lies a sin?


#1

Is the little white lie a sin? If so, is it a mortal or venial sin? Some examples: A person lies about his age to make himself/herself appear younger; or a woman lies about her dress size to her friend; or you tell a phone solicitator you’re broke and can’t contribute to the charity.


#2

The general rule of thumb is that we should avoid directly lying. “Little white lies” are usually venial matter, but they should still be avoided. This doesn’t mean that anyone is obligated to answer impertinent personal questions or remain in conversation with persistent solicitors, only that it is preferable to brush up on one’s deflection skills. Some examples:

If the person volunteers an incorrect age, he is falsely bragging. But, if he is *asked *his age by someone without the need to know it and doesn’t wish to answer, he can deflect the question with a humorous remark, such as, “Old enough to stop counting it.”

[quote=Celeste88]A woman lies about her dress size to her friend.
[/quote]

Again, volunteering the incorrect information is false bragging and should be avoided. But if asked her dress size and unwilling to answer (even to a non-relative who wants to buy her a dress as a gift), she might say, “I take the Fifth,” and add to the friend who wants to buy her clothing that a gift certificate would be appreciated instead.

[quote=Celeste88]You tell a phone solicitator you’re broke and can’t contribute to the charity.
[/quote]

There’s no need to engage phone solicitors in conversation. If you’re not interested in the charity, simply say, “I’m sorry but I’m not interested,” and hang up. If you are interested in the charity, ask the solicitor to send you written information about the charity.

Recommended reading:

Is hypocrisy always a mortal sin?


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