I love to work puzzles. Specifically, I like to work word/number puzzles. My favorites are in the newspaper. They are:
(1)The Jumble-you are given four words in which the letters are scrambled and you have to figure out each word. Certain letters in each word are used to figure out the answer to a picture puzzle that is included.
(2) Cryptograms- you are given a quote or anything, only each letter in the puzzle stands for another letter. You are usually given a clue for one letter, and it is usually the only letter in that puzzle.
(3) The ever popular crossword puzzle.
(4) Sudoku- I love these puzzles. You are trying to complete a nine by nine grid with all the numbers in each row and column consisting of the numbers 1-9. And each grid has to have the numbers 1-9. And you can’t have more than one of the same number in each grid/row/column….it’s maddeningly simply and complex! I love it!
So anyway, as I drool just from thinking about it, as I said, I love working puzzles. I was working Monday’s crossword puzzle, and one of the clues I came across really struck me about the state of our society today. The clue was “Harmless lie”.
Now, it’s a three letter word. It’s simple right? But look at the clue again-HARMLESS LIE. I admit to you, I am having a terrible time trying to figure this one out, because I CAN’T THINK OF A HARMLESS LIE! Can you? Since when is a lie harmless?
Oh, I know, we have all kinds of ones we can come up with, don’t we? “Well, if I tell her the truth about how that dress looks on her, she’ll make me sleep in the doghouse again, and it’s cold out there. Plus, I don’t even have a dog!” Or, “If I tell him that it looks great, he’ll keep combing those two hairs over and thinking it gives him a head full of hair.” I realize these are extreme examples, but they are some of the ones we have to face day to day.
How did we come to this? How did we come to the fact that a lie, for whatever reason it’s told, can have a severity rating of harmless or not?
Remember Abram? He told a lie about his wife Sarai, and said that she was his sister to Pharaoh. And God almost punished Pharaoh for it! Pharaoh took Abram to task for it, and his excuse was that he knew the Egyptians would find his wife beautiful. He was skeered they would kill him for his wife!
Lev 19:11- “You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.”
Can I be honest with you? I have done these, and not just before I was saved either. Can you be honest with me? We all have, haven’t we? We have whatever reasons we have for the things we say, or the things we do, but it’s all a white-wash.
Stealing is taking something that is not yours; that you have not rightfully obtained, that you would not be given freely on a normal basis. Lying is not telling the truth, period. False dealing is saying you are going to do one thing when you KNOW that you are going to do something else.
There is no Scripture that says that a harmless lie is okay with God. Nor is there one that states its okay to welch on a deal just because you want to win. And there is definitely not one saying that you obtained something you didn’t deserve because it’s God’s will for you to have it, no matter if He has to steal it for you. Our God owns EVERYTHING! He doesn’t have to stoop to stealing to give me a gift or reward me.
Sometimes, we are put in situations where we have to make a hard choice. God doesn’t do it to punish us with a readily available lightning bolt. He allows it so we can learn a lesson about His nature. He does it because He loves us and wants us to grow in likeness to His Son. Remember the old saying, “Character is what you are in the dark.”
Oh, by the way, the answer is “FIB”.
Be blessed in the Lord,