Telling White Lies

Will God punish you for telling a white lie, in order to avoid revealing sensitive information, being taken advantage of or hurting someone's feelings. Here are a few examples in my life when I have told white lies. What would you have done in these situations?

  1. In fourth grade, I had a friend named Tiffany. I used to love making bracelets with colorful beads back then, and she asked me to make her one. I agreed to do so. About a week later, she approached me and asked if I could make her another bracelet. She said that she lost the original bracelet. I agreed to make her a second bracelet. A week later, she claimed that she lost the second bracelet and asked if I could make her a third bracelet. I told her that I couldn't because I lost my bead collection. (which was untrue) If I had told her the truth, she could have gotten mad at me and Lord knows what she would have done.

  2. Stealing a co-worker's ideas is quite common in the workplace. Hence, if someone asks me if I had an idea for a project, I usually say that I'm not sure and that I'm still thinking about it. I've had it happen when I gave my idea beforehand, and someone else ran with it. So now I say that I'm not sure.

  3. Women like to ask other women if they've had plastic surgery or are wearing makeup or hair extensions. People have asked me many times if I'm wearing makeup or hair extensions. In my opinion, this kind of question is extremely personal. However, I don't want to come right and tell them to "mind their own business." In the past when people asked me such questions, I usually just smiled at them and quickly changed the subject (usually started discussing the weather). Is it okay to continue doing so?

Finally, can white lies send you to Hell?

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a8.htm

This may be of help to you, but read the entire section concerning the 8th Commandment.

2482 "A lie consists in speaking a falsehood with the intention of deceiving."281

2484 The gravity of a lie is measured against the nature of the truth it deforms, the circumstances, the intentions of the one who lies, and the harm suffered by its victims. If a lie in itself only constitutes a venial sin, it becomes mortal when it does grave injury to the virtues of justice and charity.

IV. RESPECT FOR THE TRUTH

2488 The right to the communication of the truth is not unconditional. Everyone must conform his life to the Gospel precept of fraternal love. This requires us in concrete situations to judge whether or not it is appropriate to reveal the truth to someone who asks for it.

2489 Charity and respect for the truth should dictate the response to every request for information or communication. The good and safety of others, respect for privacy, and the common good are sufficient reasons for being silent about what ought not be known or for making use of a discreet language. The duty to avoid scandal often commands strict discretion. No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not have the right to know it.283

2490 The secret of the sacrament of reconciliation is sacred, and cannot be violated under any pretext. "The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore, it is a crime for a confessor in any way to betray a penitent by word or in any other manner or for any reason."284

2491 Professional secrets - for example, those of political office holders, soldiers, physicians, and lawyers - or confidential information given under the seal of secrecy must be kept, save in exceptional cases where keeping the secret is bound to cause very grave harm to the one who confided it, to the one who received it or to a third party, and where the very grave harm can be avoided only by divulging the truth. Even if not confided under the seal of secrecy, private information prejudicial to another is not to be divulged without a grave and proportionate reason.

2492 Everyone should observe an appropriate reserve concerning persons' private lives. Those in charge of communications should maintain a fair balance between the requirements of the common good and respect for individual rights. Interference by the media in the private lives of persons engaged in political or public activity is to be condemned to the extent that it infringes upon their privacy and freedom.

Well, for question #2, it's always true that you're still thinking about it. You'll be thinking about it until it's finished, right? Just don't lie and say you haven't decided.

For #3, you're doing just the right thing. There's no deceit in diverting the conversation in another direction. Or you could get bold and ask, "Why would you ask a personal question like that?" Maybe they'll slink away in shame after that. ;)

What you told Tiffany was clearly a lie, and you should avoid that kind of thing now that you are an adult and more in control of yourself.

You were between 8-10 if you went to 4th grade in America or Canada. This is BARELY the age of reason. Becuase this is bothoring you I’d confess it, but it may not even legitmatly be a sin.

  1. Stealing a co-worker’s ideas is quite common in the workplace. Hence, if someone asks me if I had an idea for a project, I usually say that I’m not sure and that I’m still thinking about it. I’ve had it happen when I gave my idea beforehand, and someone else ran with it. So now I say that I’m not sure.

I’ve had this happen…actually at a job interview one of my potential managers asked me if I had any ideas for outreach and marketing. I listed a few. She didn’t hire me, I got hired by another place (within the company). Later I found that she took my ideas and won an award with them. I was preeeetty ticked. I’m much more careful with my ideas now. Creativity is at a preimum with many TV drones today, so I don’t think that it can be a lie to protect your job.

  1. Women like to ask other women if they’ve had plastic surgery or are wearing makeup or hair extensions. People have asked me many times if I’m wearing makeup or hair extensions. In my opinion, this kind of question is extremely personal. However, I don’t want to come right and tell them to “mind their own business.” In the past when people asked me such questions, I usually just smiled at them and quickly changed the subject (usually started discussing the weather). Is it okay to continue doing so?

It IS personal and it is VERY tacky of the asker. Sometimes people are trying to make small talk. In any case, a small diversion is extremely appropriate. Despite Lyposuction City comercials, it’s really disgusting in my opinion to ask about that kind of stuff

Finally, can white lies send you to Hell?

No, but forming a habit of lying, and then lying about big things CAN become mortally sinful…as in cut you off from God. We must live in the truth.

[quote="purplesunshine, post:4, topic:234119"]
You were between 8-10 if you went to 4th grade in America or Canada. This is BARELY the age of reason. Becuase this is bothoring you I'd confess it, but it may not even legitmatly be a sin.

I've had this happen...actually at a job interview one of my potential managers asked me if I had any ideas for outreach and marketing. I listed a few. She didn't hire me, I got hired by another place (within the company). Later I found that she took my ideas and won an award with them. I was preeeetty ticked. I'm much more careful with my ideas now. Creativity is at a preimum with many TV drones today, so I don't think that it can be a lie to protect your job.

It IS personal and it is VERY tacky of the asker. Sometimes people are trying to make small talk. In any case, a small diversion is extremely appropriate. Despite Lyposuction City comercials, it's really disgusting in my opinion to ask about that kind of stuff

No, but forming a habit of lying, and then lying about big things CAN become mortally sinful...as in cut you off from God. We must live in the truth.

[/quote]

A lie is a lie. It's never o.k. to lie, even to protect your job. There is usually a way to get around lying without giving information you want secret. For instance, if someone asked if you like this dress, and you don't, you could say something nice that is true, such as, "The color looks good on you." To protect someone's personal information, just say, "I make it a practice not to talk about someone else's business." You can be courteous and uninformative at the same time. If really pressed for an answer you might ask, "Why do you need to know this?"

[quote="Waiting, post:5, topic:234119"]
A lie is a lie. It's never o.k. to lie, even to protect your job. There is usually a way to get around lying without giving information you want secret. For instance, if someone asked if you like this dress, and you don't, you could say something nice that is true, such as, "The color looks good on you." To protect someone's personal information, just say, "I make it a practice not to talk about someone else's business." You can be courteous and uninformative at the same time. If really pressed for an answer you might ask, "Why do you need to know this?"

[/quote]

I'm sorry. I forgot this is the traddy forum. Yep. It's a sin. TO HELL WITH HER! Fire! brimstone!

:rolleyes:

[quote="VeronicaM, post:1, topic:234119"]
....
3. Women like to ask other women if they've had plastic surgery or are wearing makeup or hair extensions. People have asked me many times if I'm wearing makeup or hair extensions. In my opinion, this kind of question is extremely personal. However, I don't want to come right and tell them to "mind their own business." In the past when people asked me such questions, I usually just smiled at them and quickly changed the subject (usually started discussing the weather). Is it okay to continue doing so? . . .

[/quote]

Someplace I heard this suggested answer: "Pleas forgive me for not answering that question, and I will forgive you for asking it." :D

[quote="purplesunshine, post:6, topic:234119"]
I'm sorry. I forgot this is the traddy forum. Yep. It's a sin. TO HELL WITH HER! Fire! brimstone!

:rolleyes:

[/quote]

I wanted to see some fire and brimstone. It's getting too tame in spirituality. :D

Alan

  1. Stealing a co-worker's ideas is quite common in the workplace.

Be more honest, not less. "I do have an idea and I'll be sharing it at our next meeting so we can openly discuss it."

  1. Women like to ask other women if they've had plastic surgery or are wearing makeup or hair extensions.

We do?

[quote="Barbkw, post:9, topic:234119"]

We do?

[/quote]

Many women comment on my hair...it is very fine and can be (after alot of work) teased into curls. I usually straignten it becuase it's easier.

As a child the easiest way to wear my hair was those great big fat shirly temple curls. Women used to terrioize me saying that they were going to steal my curls. I was petrified.

Women are still that way...jelious creatures. I don't have my hair done for that very reason...it's expensive for one...and it mostly attracts nosy, insensivive, mean women....rather than men. And it dosn't look that much more professional than simply tying it bac.

I’m taking notes

If a lie in itself only constitutes a venial sin, it becomes mortal when it does grave injury to the virtues of justice and charity.

Pretty much sums it up.

Most lies fall into the venial category. If someone asks if you like their food and you say yes when you think it’s horrible, then that’s a venial sin, not a mortal sin.

If you say that John stole the cookies form the cookie jar and he gets reprimanded when you really did it, then that’s more in the lines of mortal sin.

Either way, we should make it a habit not to lie. Typically there are ways to refrain from giving the person the truth (if needed) without lying. In other instances, there’s a simple rule. refrain from doing anything that requires you to lie. Of course certain professions require you to withhold information from people, but it’s a rule that works in 99% of situations.

This thread is more than 2 and a half years old. We are not supposed to resurrect old threads. If you want to discuss this topic you should rather open a new thread.

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