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Why does “it was warranted” use past tense?

I called Ross right before I called my mom, but I don’t tell her that. I slipped up once, telling her I called Ross first for something and her feelings were hurt. I can’t handle guilt trips—I have enough. So I just lie instead, and tell her I’m calling Ross next. I feel like if I ever have to stand before some supreme being who gets to decide if I get into heaven and he brings up this lie—it was warranted. I’d like to think the ultimate judge in this case would understand.

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The sentence is referring to a time when the narrator has died and gone to heaven. At that time, the lie would be in the past. They are saying that in the scenario they have to explain this lie to get into heaven, they can say that the lie was acceptable given the circumstances.

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