Is there a difference between a lie and stretching the truth?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: Is there a difference between a lie and stretching the truth? – L.S.
A: God’s Word teaches that we should be truthful in our representations of ourselves. The Bible teaches that proper conduct includes truthfulness. Jesus denounced the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees! In the Sermon on the Mount, He rebuked all hypocritical giving, praying, and fasting.
We should be truthful in speaking of our past achievements in our particular vocation. God does not ask us to understate the facts, but neither does He want us to overrate our achievements of our talents, either in thought or in speech.
We are also to be truthful in our business affairs. All misrepresentations of the quality of our merchandise, all padding of expenses accounts, all forging of checks and legal documents, and all unjust alterations of accounts are sins of untruthfulness and indicate lack of proper conduct. The farmer who puts his spoiled wheat between two layers of good wheat when he takes it to the market, or the fruit grower who puts his best fruit on top of what may be bruised, are dishonest. The tourist who misrepresents an item that is subject to duty on entering the country and the taxpayer who does not supply the proper receipts are dishonest.
Conducting ourselves in the right way also includes honesty and integrity in dealing with others. Employers in business are to give proper wages for work done, while employees are to put in a full hour’s honest labor for the wages they receive. Be people who can be trusted to tell the truth – always. “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor’” (Ephesians 4:25).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
©2021 Billy Graham Literary Trust. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.(c)2021 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.