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Ask an Apostle: I lied to my husband about scratching the car

Teresa Coda answers your questions this week.
Catholic Voices

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Q: I scratched the car and told my husband I didn’t know how it happened. Is that a sin? Should I confess? 

–Dodge-ing responsibility

A: Although I find it somewhat hilarious to imagine God keeping a multivolume resource titled SINS on their celestial shelf, one that details all the ways humans can mess up (#4781: engage in a fake phone call to avoid talking to chatty neighbor, #4782: damage a vehicle and lie to spouse about it), I don’t actually suspect that this is the case. Rather, I think of sin more as an overarching category of mindset and being that includes thoughts, words, and actions that alienate people from God and from their fellow humans.

This means that I can’t exactly tell you if your car incident and subsequent lying are sins, but instead will ask: Does being dishonest with your husband do damage to your relationship with him, yourself, or God? My suspicion—though I could be wrong—is that it does. I don’t think you would be writing to an advice column for input if your actions weren’t weighing on you. My thought is that we have enough burdens in life without creating additional ones for ourselves, so why not lift this weight by confessing and apologizing?  

About the author

Teresa Coda

Teresa Coda works in parish faith formation. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two young daughters.

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