When I arrived home from a trip, I announced to my wife, “I got a ticket when I was driving through Indiana.” She was about to give me a good scolding, but then I said, “Wait a minute! I can explain everything.”
I told her that I had been traveling on the Indiana Toll Road. Everyone who enters it receives a “ticket.” It’s not handed out because of a traffic violation, but it’s used to determine the amount of toll to be paid on the basis of the distance traveled.
This incident reminded me that it’s possible to tell a lie while making a true statement. It’s done by using words that have a double meaning, or by making incomplete statements to leave an erroneous impression.
People often tell half-truths and use certain terms that are intended to mislead others. When selling a used TV, for example, the seller may emphasize the great picture quality but neglect to tell the buyer that the volume control doesn’t work properly. Then, he can later rationalize and say, “I told the truth. I told him the picture was great. He didn’t ask me about the sound.” This is just another form of lying.
Instead of stretching or bending the truth to serve our own agenda, let’s heed the words of Scripture: “Do not lie to one another” (Colossians 3:9).
With our minds we can conceive
Of truthful words that can deceive;
Although we claim the truth was meant,
In truth, a lie was our intent. —D. De Haan
The most deceptive liars are those who live on the edge of truth.