To be entirely and blatantly truthful in everything we say could unnecessarily hurt a lot of feelings and create a lot of worries. Thus, in everyday conversation we say “white lies” about someone’s appearance or even about our own state of health.
Doctors withhold information based on an argument that their first obligation is the best interest of a patient. Police agencies send an officer undercover (assuming a false identity) based on the argument that the good to be realized in catching a criminal warrants a well-directed lie.
Some Christians believe that all lying is wrong but that some lies are more serious than others, the worst being the lie that leads a soul to hell (false religion), the least wrong being the lie that affords a moment of relief from pain or anguish (a placebo). Other Christians allow that some lies do not violate the ninth commandment: lying to Nazi agents about Jews hiding in the attic; the lie of Rahab concerning the Hebrew spies in her house (Joshua 2).
These lies must be justified on moral and biblical grounds. When they are, the telling of a lie will sometimes be what morality demands, not merely a moral option.
All Christians agree that truth telling is the first requirement. Justifying a lie can never be the private business of the individual but must always be based on arguments open to public inspection.
EXODUS 20:16 – 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.