Dan and I were on our way to my favorite store, Costco. (Yes, it really is one of my favorite stores.) As I was driving along Southern my lead foot was pressing against the pedal a little heavier than it should have been and a police officer was watching for someone like me to come cruising by him. He was behind me with his lights on as fast as he could be. When I pulled into the nearest parking lot he asked for my driver’s license, registration and insurance card. He also asked me how fast I was going. To this I responded with the last approximate speed I could recall seeing on the speedometer.
He then went back to his motorcycle to do what police officers do as we sit in our cars and wait for the officer’s judgement to be handed down to us in the form of a ticket for what we did wrong. (Of course, I prayed that I wouldn’t get a ticket, even though I knew I deserved it.)
When the officer came back, he said that I was the first honest person he had pulled over that day and gave me a warning instead of a ticket! I could not believe it, but what surprised me even more was that no one else had been honest! I mean, really, he has proof with his radar gun that speeding was happening. What in the world is the point of lying about it?
However, what I cannot believe even more is the dishonesty that happens ALL the time, whether there is immediate proof of the truth or not. I always told my kids that it was better to tell the truth and possibly get into trouble than to lie and lose our trust. I believe that is true no matter anyone’s age. When trust is lost it is so hard to earn back!
The Bible gives us very clear direction in the area of honesty. For example:
“The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.” Proverbs 12:22 (NIV)
“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. My son, keep your father's commandment, and forsake not your mother's teaching.” Proverbs 6:16-20 (ESV)
“For ‘Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.’” 1 Peter 3:10-12 (ESV)
*See more at https://www.openbible.info/topics/honesty.
The most famous verse about deceit is from the Ten Commandments:
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16)
This is speaking about someone in order to make others think things about them that are not true. Sometimes this can be done with the intent of ruining someone’s reputation or done just to make ourselves feel better about ourselves by making someone think less of the other person. Either way reputations, relationships and trust can be destroyed.
God gives us direction, not because He doesn’t want us to enjoy life, but instead because He DOES want us to enjoy life and good relationships. He always knows what’s best for us.
“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” Proverbs 11:3 (NIV)
So, next time you’re pulled over for speeding or it seems easier to be dishonest or misrepresent the truth, what will you do? Is there ever a little lie that won’t hurt?