God is the God of all truth, and so of course, we as His people should be careful to speak the truth. One area where we sometimes neglect this duty is in an area that might be called “quick lies.” They don’t even seem like lies at all unless you take them out in the yard and look at them in direct sunlight.
Suppose your mom asked you to make your bed, and half an hour later, she asks you about it. You say, quickly, “Oh, I was just heading up to do it now.” The claim is being made about the immediate future and is not falsifiable, certainly not by your mom, and perhaps not even by you. You might have been doing this for so long that you have come to believe that you are always on the verge of obedience. This is a quick lie, a glancing lie, a “don’t look back” now kind of lie.
“I was going to call you today . . .”
“I had been meaning to tell you . . .”
“I was just going to pay you back . . .”
The reason we tell these is in order to save face, or preserve our pride, or make us feel like we are being better Christians than we actually are. When we tell them, we are being brittle and insecure.
When we get into the habit of making this kind of deceitful excuse, we sometimes think of the excuse primarily, and not about whether what we are saying is true. What we really need to learn in this is truth-telling borne of humility. That means that a good exercise to begin with is that of not offering excuses from our immediate plans for the future, even if we have a legitimate one. Even if you really were going to go up and make your bed in thirty seconds, a far better response would be to simply apologize to your mom for making her have to ask about it.