5 Dangers of White Lies

Vivian Bricker

Contributing Writer
Published Feb 29, 2024
5 Dangers of White Lies

Many people believe white lies are not dangerous. They believe that since they are “white lies” they are not as bad as full-blown deception. Whether it is a white lie or a half-truth, it is still a lie. All types of lying are still lies at the end of the day. The Bible says lying is a sin, and this is why we don’t need to "bend the truth" even if it's "just a little" (Exodus 20:16; Proverbs 6:16-19). 

Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). If we lie, we are behaving in the same way as the devil. This gives us a glimpse at the severity of lies and what they entail. God does not want us to lie. He wants us to tell the truth, even when it is hard. Regardless of what your mind tells you, a white lie is still a lie. It is still as dangerous as any other kind of lie.

Here are five reasons why:

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1. It Gives the Illusion That It's “Not As Bad” as Lying

One danger of white lies is that it gives the illusion that it is “not as bad” as lying. This could not be further from the truth because all lies are sinful and go against God. In a way, there are no such things as “white lies.” White lies are still lies, no matter what individuals want to call them. The idea of white lies tries to make us think they are not as harmful as more powerful lies, but this is not true either.

White lies will cause you to lose friendships and relationships with people who mean a lot to you. Nobody appreciates being lied to. It hurts them and it will hurt you too. The idea of thinking that white lies are not as bad as lying is also harmful because it downplays the severity of deceiving others. As believers, we should never lie. Lying does not bring about the life God wants for us. If you are living a life full of lies, you are living in disobedience to the Lord.

White lies are a big deal, and we don’t need to underestimate how much they can damage others as well as ourselves. Instead of creating white lies, tell the truth. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Since Jesus is the truth, we need to strive to live in accordance with the truth. None of us can say that lying brings about glory to the Father, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. Rather, it just downplays the Name of God and disowns Truth. 

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2. It Compromises Your Trustworthiness

A second danger of white lies is that it compromises your trustworthiness. Nobody wants to be seen as untrustworthy; however, when you lie, it can be hard for anyone to believe you again. If you lie to them once, you will lie to them again. Unless you show through your actions and behaviors that you are trustworthy, they will never believe you. Even if you do show in your actions and behaviors that you are trustworthy, they still might not be able to believe you because you have told them lies in the past. People can forgive, but they aren't great at forgetting.

Unless you want to compromise your trustworthiness, it would be best to stop telling white lies and come clean about any lies you have told others. This might be hard, but it is what God wants us to do. He doesn’t want us to live in a state of always lying to each other or making up things. Rather, He wants us to walk in the truth and this means that we cannot tell lies any longer. Speak the truth instead of lies and it will relieve you of stress, anxiety, and paranoia. 

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3. It Leads to More Lies

A third danger of white lies is that they will lead to more lies. Lies are like spiderwebs. Once you spin one lie, you have to spin a million other lies to keep the original lie a secret. All of this can get exhausting and be hard to keep up with. Even if you tell yourself is it only “one little white lie,” it will most likely turn into a hundred other lies. Stop yourself in your tracks when you are tempted to tell a lie.

Talk with God about it in prayer. Ask Him to help you say the truth rather than a lie. By just taking a few seconds or a few minutes to think over the issue, you will be more prone to say no to the lies. Telling a lie lasts a few seconds, but the damage can last a lifetime (Proverbs 12:19). Instead of telling one white lie that turns into many other lies, choose to tell the truth. Telling lies does not benefit anyone, even if your mind is telling you otherwise. White lies are sins and only cause problems for everyone involved. 

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4. It Produces Pain and Problems

Speaking of which, a fifth danger of white lies is that it causes pain and problems. Think about a time when somebody lied to you. It probably didn’t make you feel very good. You probably felt betrayed, hurt, and taken advantage of. None of these feelings are good. Remember these feelings when you lie to someone. Once they find out that you lied to them—and they will—it will cause them to feel betrayed, hurt, and taken advantage of. If you truly love and care about someone, you will not lie to them.

If you have already told many white lies, you probably have seen the pain and problems it can cause. Lies can ruin friendships, marriages, and family connections. No matter what you are inclined to lie about, take the upper road. Choose to tell the truth regardless of the outcome. This might mean fessing up about a really damaging lie, but it is better to tell the truth than to not. 

If you keep hanging onto a lie, it will only eat you alive. Keeping up a lie is hard and can cause you many problems. Don’t add more problems to your life by trying to maintain a lie. Be honest with your loved ones and ask them for forgiveness when you do tell them the truth. While many of them might not feel like forgiving you right away, you can take solace in knowing you did the right thing in the end. 

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5. It's Disobedience to God

A fifth danger of white lies is that it causes you to be disobedient to God. As mentioned earlier, all lying is a sin. God does not approve of any form of lying. If we lie, we are disobeying God. As believers, this should cause deep conviction in our hearts. If we do not feel guilty for lying and disobeying God, then we have come to the place where we are calloused to the Holy Spirit. If you can recognize that you have made it to this place, you need to turn to the Lord, ask for His help, and repent.

We will drift further away from God the more we engage in a certain sin over and over again. God does not want us to keep committing the same sins over and over again, and this includes lying. He wants us to repent and truly turn away from the sin. This is hard, but it is not impossible. Ask the Lord for help to turn away from lying, and He will help. It might be a long process, but the Lord will help you and give you freedom from the constant desire to lie. 

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Vivian BrickerVivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.

Originally published Thursday, 29 February 2024.