Question:

What should you do if you were talking to someone and you think you might have said something or explained something wrong? Couldn't this be considered lying even if you didn't purposely do it? And wouldn't that mean that you should explain it better so you tell the truth? I think I get at least kind of obsessed with some stuff like this, where I think I might have done or said something wrong, and then I feel that I have to explain it more and more elaborately or something like that. This at least gets annoying and stressful to me, but I know you're not supposed to lie, so I feel I have to explain to them or whatever, and I also want them to understand. But then I think I am also sometimes told I should not worry about it, and I should let it go and not be stressed over it. God understands everything, and He knows exactly what happens, and that is all that matters.


Answer:

To tell the best that you know at the moment is not lying. There is no deception or intent at deceiving.

When you aren't certain about a fact, it is proper to relay your uncertainty. "I think Mrs. Jones was wearing a blue sweater this morning."

If you realize at a later point that you were wrong, you need to determine who important the information was to the person. If it was casual conversation that was most likely forgotten, then you let it go as well. Even if it was brought up again later, you just say, "Yeah, I learned later that I was wrong." If it was something a person was relying upon, then you tell them, "I just found out that I was wrong about what I told you earlier. I didn't want you to make a mistake because of me."

What I suspect is happening is that you are worrying over details. It isn't enough to mention the blue sweater, you feel the need to describe the exact shade of blue. That is obsessing over the precision of your information. Most people are not looking for absolute precision in conversation. If we did, nothing would get accomplished because there is always more detail that could be given. For example, notice that in the Gospel accounts, none of the writers mention all the same details given by the other writers. In fact, John states that he left out a lot. "And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen" (John 21:25). That doesn't mean John lied. It means he focused on his point and didn't allow himself to get distracted.

It is very easy for teenagers to get obsessed by different things. It is partly due to how the brain develops during the adolescent years. But what you should remind yourself is that no one, even God, is expecting absolute perfection from you. You do the best you can and when you realize you made a mistake, you acknowledge it. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). None of us are perfect. We strive to do our best and realize that we don't achieve perfection.

Also, don't judge the accuracy of what you are saying by the understanding another person takes away with them. A lot of people don't listen well. Many people only hear what they expect to be told. If you said something correctly and another person misunderstood, that wasn't necessarily your fault.