It’s one of the Ten Commandments that we should not lie.
So it’s always bothered me that I cannot help but tell the occasional white lie.
The other day someone invited me to lunch and had gone to great trouble to cook me a vegan meal. It wasn’t the greatest meal I’d ever had, in fact to be honest I struggled to eat the large portion I was given. But, nonetheless, I found myself saying it was delicious, that I’d really enjoyed it, and even asked for the recipe so I could make it myself.
The truth is I have no intention of attempting to make this meal, ever. So I guess I lied.
And that was breaking one of the ten commandments, one of God’s laws. Which is a bad thing.
In the light of this, I guess I should have said I did not enjoy the food much, that I’d found it rather bland. That maybe next time it might be worth adding some spices.
But, if I had done that, then my host would have felt unvalued for his kindness in making this special meal and unloved.
And, as I think about that, I realise that this would be a far greater untruth than the white lies I’d told about enjoying the food.
Because the truth is that I did very much appreciate the enormous thought and effort that my host had put in. In fact the thought of this I found very moving. He must said to himself, Oh dear, Martine is vegan – what on earth will I cook for her? And then perhaps he’d looked online ad found a recipe that he’d had a go at for the first time.
Another truth is that I really like this person and, if he had concluded that I disliked him because I said I’d not enjoyed the meal - that would be a lie.
What I began to see, for the first time, is that it is necessary sometimes to tell a white lie in order for to avoid a greater untruth being communicated.
So now when you invite me to lunch, you’ll never know whether I like what you’ve made or not. But you will know that I care far more about you – than always to tell the truth!