Honesty is bravery; it is the faith in the power of God that is enough to protect you. Honesty is a must in order not to harm others. Lying might not harm the other sometimes, but could only harm the liar himself. The liar thinks that he is avoiding trouble through lying, and this might work for one or several times. However, he will eventually fail when he will be caught. The question remains: Are white lies that don’t harm anyone allowed? Actually it is always harmful as the liar would be stunted when he escapes from confrontation. Our fathers gave one exception as they said that lying is allowed in one case and it is when honesty could be harmful, and they gave an example which is when you are hiding with you a scared person that is chased by criminals. In this case you are allowed to say: “This criminal is not with me”.

Of course, when you have been told a secret you should keep it. For example, if you knew about a lethal sickness that the doctor hid from the patient, or if you knew secrets related to a marriage, these are matters where you should be discreet.

Honesty makes you a reference for people because they would feel secure concerning you and your treatment to them. This security that people would feel carries peace and healthy relationships.

What does lying in words mean? It is when you know the truth and say the opposite. You can hide the truth from a person that has no right to know it, but you can’t hide anything from the responsible. You can’t hide it from the political authority when you know something related to national security for example, or from the spiritual authority if you knew that a parish is being harmed through dishonesty regarding its financial management or that there is a disturbance that could harm the parish or the priest. The person that is responsible for reforming has the right to know what is going on.

Lying could also occur without any words. There is a lying position or situation. He who betrayed the country, damaged an interest or ruined his family life is in a situation of lying. He is taking a lying route. The writer of the Psalms said concerning this: “I hate every path that leads to lying”. The book of Proverbs talks about a gift of lying. Also, the book of revelation while talking about the heavenly church says: “Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty”. Therefore, there is an act of lying. Prophet Jeremiah confirms this when he says: “everyone deals falsely”.

There is also the lying oath and the lying prophecy. The lying witness destroys people’s families, reputations and interests. The Lord says about the devil that he is “a liar and the father of the liar”.

Lying is one of the dangerous whims and the only way out of it is through Christ. If you had this weakness, ask honesty from Christ. Try to be like him, he who talked the Pharisees and Scribes with honesty while they were endangering him. In his trial he was not afraid from the Jewish High Priests and told them that he is the Son of God and didn’t hide the truth that cost him his life.

Honesty made all Christian generations go to martyrdom. They were able to stay alive if they blasphemed, but because their honesty made them die, we are able to live today. We live on their testimony that consolidated the church.

Honesty in words, position, and testifying is the power of the Savior in us. He, who wants Jesus, should behave like Jesus did.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “الكذب” – 05.09.1999