The Bible straight up says it is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18). Lying is a sin, and God hates sin. So is it ever OK to tell a lie? Many Christians are divided on this issue.
The Bible, however, is very clear on its stance on lying, and Colossians 3:9-10 states, “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
We are way too comfortable with telling little lies, whether to avoid humiliation or protect another’s feelings. I believe God views these as sinful acts. Like Colossians 3:9-10 states, we were once a fallen people, a lying people, and a thieving people, but when we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts and commit our lives to him, we are a new people. As Christians, we are called to be better than those who tell even white lies.
I think we all have experienced firsthand the negative effects of telling a lie. Whether it was being confronted and embarrassed in front of friends or punished as a young child, it is a part of fallen human nature that has been around since the choices made in the garden of Eden. The question then becomes: Is there a situation where it is right in God’s eyes for a human to lie?
Ultimately, while there are situations where lying may be tempting to protect ourselves or others, Christians have to remember who “the father of all lies” is (John 8:44) and trust that God has a greater purpose for us according to his Word.
God would never desire for us to re-enact a sin in his perfect planning. However, we do live in a fallen world where we encounter imperfect people and face horrible choices because of this world of sin.
Many reference the hardest of choices, such as whether or not to tell the truth to a Nazi that comes knocking on your door asking for you to reveal your hidden Jewish neighbors. Many argue that surely this lie is just in our loving God’s eyes?
God doesn’t ever directly praise lying, and he, himself, cannot lie, so I frankly do not know what God would say about that. I cannot decide for you whether or not a particular lie is just or righteous in God’s eyes. That decision is between you and God alone.
I do know, however, that in 1 John 1:9 God is described as a forgiving God. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Jesus is made of forgiveness, his mercies are new every morning and Jesus died for every lie you have ever told and every one you will ever tell.
Just know that we live in a world in which we are all too comfortable lying about the big and the small, and it hurts God to see his children like this. Lying results in broken relationships within ourselves, with each other and with God.
When confronted with a decision on whether to tell a lie, seek out biblical truth such as the words of Proverbs 3:5, which calls us to lean not on our own imperfect understanding, but to trust in God to guide us and make clear which paths we should take.