"Oh, I'm sorry, we have other plans that day."
"No, that color looks great on you!"
"I'm sorry, he's in the shower."
I have said them, and I am sorry I did. The thing that bothers me the most, is telling a caller that my husband, "was in the shower." when really he wasn't. It doesn't matter that he was in the bathroom. It doesn't matter that I was just trying to help my husband "save face." Crucial bathroom duties are something we all have to do, but typically don't want to share with the world, or a caller that you just don't know that well.
What matters is my son was sitting right there and heard me.
My son is pretty bright. All kids are. They are wise to our ways whether we admit it or not. They look at us as an example of how to live and these are some of the things we teach unintentionally, unknowingly.
Why do we make things confusing? We seem to blur clear lines because it is convenient and because we think it is harmless.
Is there such a thing as a good lie? The Bible is pretty clear.
Leviticus 19:11 You shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers.
We don't do Santa in our family because we want to be sure that our kids know without a doubt that we are always truthful with them. To me this falls into the same category. There is something to be said about integrity. I want my kids to have it. I want them to learn it from me. From us.
How should I have answered? Well, simply saying the truth is fine. You don't have to give all the details. Let your answers be simple.
"I will have to check my schedule." Then do it.
"I think you look great in green, maybe you can try this?"
"I'm sorry, he can't come to the phone, but I can take a message for you." If they asked if he is there.
"I'm sorry, I can take a message." If they just asked to speak with him.
I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I do want to be truthful. To everyone. I want my kids to see me as being truthful and trustworthy.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
And do them.