Is a Half-Truth a Lie?

I have written about this subject before from a different angle, but I think it is time to revisit. People often tell a “half-truth” for various reasons. They don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. They want to avoid conflict. The list goes on. What does God think about telling a “half-truth” or white lie? 

Acts 5 records the story of a husband and wife named Ananias and Sapphira. They sold land and gave only a portion to the Lord. Ananias brought a portion and thought he would get away with not giving the whole. He was confronted and died. Imagine someone dropping dead in a worship service for only bringing a portion of what is God’s back to Him. Then Sapphira is more directing in her lying, and she dies too. 

If there is supposedly such a thing is a half-truth, shouldn’t there be a half-lie? Both sound pretty absurd. Either you lie or you tell the truth. I’m trying to imagine God telling me, “Matthew, you lied for a really good reason so I’ll let you slide.”

I’m not saying that everyone who lies is going to drop dead immediately. When you read Acts 5, you see that they were guilty of lying to the Holy Spirit. When you and I lie, we violate God’s commands. We are sinning against God first then others. 

We must choose our words carefully. Read Matthew 12:36-37. Every word will say will stand in judgment before the Lord Jesus. Let that put us in perspective.

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