Timios wrote:Did Jesus ever tell a lie in order not to hurt someone's feelings? It seems to me that He always told it like it is.
Events documented in the Bible are typically hard truths, told to sinners who needed to be made aware of their sin. We're not given much in the way of 1st century Judaean hospitality customs.
What if two situations are in conflict? In an example I gave, one's own Mother invites them over for Christmas dinner, and proceeds to cook a dry ham and gives a bad present, say, an ugly Christmas sweater she knitted herself.
Dwight: I would give my mom and hug and a kiss and thank her for the meal and sweater without further comment. If she specifically asks what I thought of the meal or gift, I would gently tell her the truth. For example: "Thank you but I usually like my ham (although I don't generally eat ham) a little more moist." or "That sweater is really not the style that I wear, but thank you so much for making it."
Dwight: I have on occasion had customers on my mail route give me a bottle of wine for Christmas. I do not drink alcohol of any kind, so I just tell them right away, up front: "Thanks so much for your gift, but I do not drink." Then I give them their bottle back. I'm not trying to be offensive, but if they are offended, I cannot help that. One customer even asked me to give it to someone else but I politely refused. I do not believe in drinking alcohol, so why would I give it away to someone else?
Dwight: The Bible says to speak the truth in love. I agree with some of the others here that the only Biblical justification for lying is to save someone's life, like Rahab or the midwives in Egypt. David "lied" when he pretended to be mentally retarded to save his own life. He also lied when he told the priest that he was on a special mission for King Saul, when actually he was fleeing from King Saul. It appears that that lie actually resulted in the death of the priest and his whole family.