Christians have similar commandments; ‘thou shalt not steal’ and ;thou shalt not bear false witness.’
And i am sure if i was wiser i would be able to look into every religion on earth and come up with similar sayings And yet if i say that everyone lies and everyone steals (if they are not careful) i might get shot down for stating such atrocities and yet both are true. Now don’t get me started on ‘truth’ i shall come back to that another day.
However let’s step back a minute and take each precept/commandment separately, starting with – ‘I take up the way of speaking truthfully’/’thou shalt not bear false witness’. Believe it or not they mean the same. I am not saying for one minute that any of us openly speak blatant lies about ourselves or about others, but so we feel better about the little lies that we tell we call them ‘white lies.’
If you are reading this and saying you never tell lies, spread untruths then i believe you, but i can definitely say that there are times that i chose to tell a lie and that is the difference. I have chosen to tell a lie, especially to my children. When my children were little i would tell them that if they didn’t go to sleep on Christmas eve then Santa Clause wouldn’t come and there would be no presents. I did the same at Easter, with the Easter Bunny and then again with the tooth fairy. Or this one; your best friend bought a new dress and yet it’s not quite right, do you tell the truth and tell them it doesn’t look right or do you lie and tell them it looks amazing?
Another way to tell lies is to say nothing when quite clearly something needs to be said, sticking up for a friend when you know or believe they are right. Is staying silent telling a lie? How many times have you stayed quiet or walked away from someone because telling them the truth would have been more hurtful than saying nothing at all.
Now what about stealing? When i first came across this truth and then linked it back to one of the ten commandments i told myself i didn’t steal. Yet the longer i sat with this thought the more i realised i did and some times there was a valid reason to do so and some times there wasn’t. What are you telling me there are no valid reasons for stealing? Let me tell you some of the ways that came to me about me; on very rare occasions i would use butter for my toast which was supplied by the hospital for patient use, i would photo copy a sheet or two without thought, take pens, the odd envelope and all though these things were in plain sight they were not freely given unless i was using them for a patient. Other things that you might do; take the little sugar/sauce sachets in a restaurant not because you need them but because they are there or take more serviettes then you really need. Say ‘no’ to someone who has asked you to do something for them and make up some excuse that you are busy. I am sure you can think of others.
Humour me here as i will come back to this thought. For the next week just observe what you do and say or what you do not do or chose not to say. My friend over on Limbiley’s blog yesterday wrote about truth and sin. I agree with him that all untruths are sins, but we all sin. Yet there is a difference between little sin and big sin. That’s a whole new post too. Just observe what you do this week and see do you tell lies or steal?