Lying to those who care for you (including yourself)
So you go visit old friends and see parents who you have met a couple of times.
They say they have been praying for you, and ask you how you’re doing.
Can you lie to them? Would you?
Instead of saying, ‘Meh, life’s not great at the moment — in fact a bit rubbish.’
I just said, ‘Yeh, I’m okay/well/fine, thank you.’
I did lie — rightly or wrongly.
I guess this somewhat goes back to the (age-old?) question of ‘Can Christians tell white lies?‘
I might be trying to find excuses for myself, but I think my issue here is perhaps slightly more nuanced: Is ‘lying’ about how you feel really ‘lying’? (Or is this just an excuse?)
What are feelings anyway?
People often mention ‘positive thinking‘ — hopefully not sounding too Schopenhauerian, but to what extent is ‘positive thinking’ self-deception (or even self-denial)?
By this I mean, when life is not well, to try and make ourselves think positively, to fill our minds with happy thoughts etc. Is that not lying to oneself?
So I did a causal look-up for ‘lies’ in my Bible concordance, and found Leviticus 19:11:
You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.
It does say we shall not ‘lie to one another‘ — but not to oneself? Can we lie to ourselves?
(Or is this just an excuse?)
One further thought:
When I answer ‘how are you?’ I guess I am ultimately expressing a feeling, rather giving a factual answer. (Or is this just an excuse?)
How accurately do/can we express our feelings anyway? Does our inaccuracy of expressing feelings constitute lying? And if so, is it an acceptable ‘white’ lie?
If this is the case — a big if — to what extent do we lie when we pray to God, expressing our feelings and thoughts?