On Unintentional Lies

I often talk without “planning” what I say. I just say it. Often I accidentally lie.

Here are two events that happened yesterday like this.

I was talking to a coworker I took hours from over the phone the night before and I sort of rushed him. I told him I was sorry because I was in a rush. Here’s the thing: I may have been on a rush during the phone conversation, but I was not in a rush.

Event II. I was operating the gas window at the store when a guy gets back in his car while pumping gas. I stopped the pumps and waited for him to get out again because we aren’t supposed to let customers leave the pump unattended. When the guy got out and finished, I told him I was sorry and that we have the rule in place to prevent gas spills (which are actually quite common.) Heres the catch: I am not sure if that’s the reason why we make sure the pumps are attended. I forgot to mention that I wasn’t sure, and I said the whole thing to make the guy feel better.

Would these two situations of trying to make people feel better be lies?

Although admittedly, I don’t even understand the first situation’s content.

It will do you a world of good to consider yourself almost sin-proof. Don’t think something you did to be sinful unless you can swear on a stack of Bibles that it was, as someone else on CAF put it.

Here’s clarification for the first event: I had nothing else to do that night, but I kept talking over him by accident and it would have seemed I was in a rush, although I actually wasn’t.

Jesus tells us to love each other as we love ourselves.

Did you treat these people the way that you would want to be treated?

I think that is the real question.

I applaud your introspection.

While I can’t climb inside your soul to see what was going on in that moment, it does not follow from this description that you lied.

PLEASE do yourself a favor and give yourself a break. You clearly want to do good and avoid evil, but fear of sinning is not the same as fear of sin. If you think you might have sinned, ask God’s forgiveness, make restitution if there is a clear and reasonable opportunity, and then be done. We can sometimes get into the habit of dwelling on our faults in such a way that we forget to make immediate recourse to God. Judas made that mistake… Peter did not.

We don’t become saints in a day (usually). If you had indeed told a lie, how profitable would that knowledge be to you? Would it mean that you would stop making the same error, an error which you have probably already been keen to avoid? No. Don’t become frustrated that you aren’t spiritually and morally perfect. Simply ask forgiveness and resolve to avoid sin in the future with the help of God’s grace.

Try taking Francis de Sales as a guide. Buy and read everything you can find from him.

In the meantime, assume that if you have to ask “was this a sin,” that it either was not a sin or was very, very slight and requires no kind of restitution or correction. This is a reasonable rule for you. Asking the same kind of question every other day on an internet forum is clearly not helping you to solve the issue. Making an act of trust in God’s mercy - and perhaps some study on your own - will help to solve the issue. Yes, it is unsatisfying, like putting a balm on a rash instead of scratching it. However, the former solves the problem long-term while the former solves it short-term but ends up making it worse. Take the balm.

Get professional help for your scruples. This isn’t helpful.

You have serious anxiety and scrupulosity. Get a regular confessor and consider a counselor too.

I am afraid that isn’t the case. I don’t suffer from severe anxiety or scruples. Rather, I am a very confused person. I really don’t know anything the catechism says because I hate reading and I never really read much of it.

Your RCIA experience was the place to ask, but since its over…you need a spiritual director. He will help with those scruples. You do suffer from this. Just because you can laugh off the replies doesn’t negate the fact that you believe everything is a gotcha moment. God doesn’t operate like that. I’m sorry this was not impressed upon you. There is much more to being a Catholic than worrying about such.
Lies are not unintentional. These things are mistakes. If you intended to mislead or skate around something, then maybe your communication skills are not polished. But saying you did it accidentally doesn’t make sense. Either you lied or you didn’t.

Being a Catholic is not a once and done thing friend. We are called to be always learning, growing. You would GREATLY benefit from reading the Catechism.Read it. Bring your questions toa priest in spiritual direction. But simply saying “I don’t wanna” is very immature and is not making an effort to learn about the ways of the Lord. We don’t just show up to get a card punched

I agree with Clare, you need to find a Spiritual Director. Also, if your Parish offers Adult Faith Formation courses; I strongly recommend you sign up & attend. It’s appears as if you are in need of further instruction/information.

You fear moral evil to be EVERYWHERE in YOUR OWN LIFE. This is scrupulosity.

Read the section on the Commandments. You could do it in a week, easy. Why do you expect others to do the work for you continually?

Hi Melodeonist,

I am posting a link to an Examination of Conscience from EWTN for you.

Here is the link:


I know that you said that you don’t like to read. It’s one way that we can continue to learn, though.

If you don’t like reading yourself, perhaps an audio book version of something can help you, or a video version of something, instead. :slight_smile:

Anyway, I posted the link so that it can help you refer to what a sin might be, in reference to the Ten Commandments, and according to an Examination of Conscience that we might refer to before going to Confession.

Some people may just refer to an Examination at the end of the day, so that they can be ready before going to Confession, or some may use it in the church right before going to Confession, too.

You are asking people to become engaged in toil that denotes restlessness of soul. (a daughter sin of the capital sin of greed) You invited people to become annoyed with the demonic powers of curiosity.

The gravity of this offense is small, as far as the matter of the act. The circumstances further lessen it because this is a forum to seek information. And your intention is yours alone with the Lord.

Let me finish with a quote from the Crown of Monks: “Keep yourselves completely from the vice of restlessness and curiosity, so that having become quiet you may keep to your own affairs. Therefore, those people attend to their own affairs who put aside the vice of curiosity and are unceasing solicitous for their own salvation.” (Chapter 73)

There was a time when the Church only permitted a priest to have the right to enter into a conscience. That might be the best route. I could of made the same mistake.

He’s a very young, recent, convert whose RCIA experience was very basic. While I understand your intention, I doubt this message will be received, nor understood.
Our friend suffers from scruples and has a long history of posting these convoluted scenarios. All of those who have been praying for him have recommended seeking out a good priest for spiritual direction, to no avail. But I feel like this post may further complicate the issue.

How can anyone “accidentally” lie? There is no such thing just as you cannot sin by accident.

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