This might be confusing, but I’m going to try to explain this the best I can. I apologize in advance.
Recently I have been searching for jobs. I have had two businesses interested in me (we will call them Companies A and B). I chose B over A because company A wanted me to travel to another state to interview. I had to watch a family member's house during the time they wanted me to interview.
I originally applied for one location for company A because I really wanted to move to that area but due to a lack of money, it wasn’t going to be possible to move there, so I applied for the town I am currently in.
For some reason that I cannot remember, I gave up on company A and decided to focus on company B. Company A had contacted me regarding both locations, but they eventually said they were no longer interested in me due to my not responding. A different recruiter texted me later asking which location I wanted to apply for and asked if he could FaceTime with me. At that time I was just focused on Company B, and I didn’t feel comfortable talking with the recruiter, so I just ignored his message. But he soon sent another message asking if I had seen his message. After discussing it with my family I decided to drop out of the interview with company B because the job wasn’t a good fit for me.
So here I am, back at square one. No job or interviews in sight. I texted the recruiter who wanted to FaceTime. I said, “sorry maybe something went wrong with my phone and I missed it, sorry for not getting back to you, but if you still have a position available I would love to still apply.” I lied when I said I didn’t see his message. I had seen it, but at the time, I gave up on them as an option for where to work. He called me, and I said sorry again for not responding to his message and said that I had initially given up on going further with them due to my focus on another job and not having money to move. Now he wants me to come in for an interview. If I get the job, they will even supply money for me to move.
I’m very grateful for this opportunity that I nearly let fly by. But I still feel bad that I told him that I didn’t see his message. I prayed and asked for forgiveness for that lie. My recruiter said it was okay that I didn’t get back to him. But I still feel bad that I initially didn’t just tell him I ignored his message. Should I tell him, even though he said it’s okay that I didn’t get back to him?
The reason you lied was because you thought the truth would harm your prospect of getting an interview with this company. What you didn't stop to consider was that most companies compete for good employees. It isn't unusual for a prospective employee to be considering several companies at the same time.
All you needed to have done is apologize for not getting back to them sooner, but you were distracted by the offer of another company. When you realized that the company was not a good match for you, you got back to this company to see if they were still interested in you.
You already apologized to the recruiter. You told him why you ignored his message when he called you, even if you didn't directly apologize for lying to him. When you meet him, thank him for the interviewed and mention that you wish you had not ignored his message earlier.
Honesty is always the best policy. Be polite, be kind, be careful how you express yourself, but always be honest. If who you are is not what a company is looking for, then it is best to know as soon as possible.