Dare to Be Honest
"Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go."1
In Moody Monthly George Sweeting wrote some time ago about the desperate need for honesty in our culture. He referred to Dr. Madison Sarratt, who taught mathematics at Vanderbilt University for many years, who, before giving a test, would caution his class something like this:
"Today I am giving two examinations: one in trigonometry and the other in honesty. I hope you will pass them both. If you must fail one, fail trigonometry. There are many good people in the world who can't pass trig, but there are no good people in the world who cannot pass the examination of honesty."
In the news in some time ago we heard more about cheaters in high school, cheaters in college, cheaters in politics, cheaters in business…. Cheaters may appear to win in the short run but the fact remains, in the long run cheaters never win. Sooner or later their cheating will catch up with them. The broker who cheated on me and stole my retirement fund spent six years in jail, and that's small punishment in terms of his self-punishment in what he has done to his self-concept and character. Will anyone ever trust him again?
The tragedy is that the more our society accepts cheating and personal dishonesty as a way of life, the more we hurt ourselves and ultimately our society. Self-governing to survive for the long haul is dependent on the honesty, good will and character of those being governed. When we can no longer be trusted to abide by the laws—especially the laws as found in the Ten Commandments, which were given for the benefit and freedom of every society, the law will end up governing us not as a democracy but as a dictatorship or some other form of legalistic bondage. In fact, without honesty, character and sound ethics, a free society cannot survive as a free society for the long term.
God's laws are for the good of all. We defy them to our peril.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for Your laws that are given for the good of all. Please give me a great respect and appreciation of all of Your laws and the courage to abide by them. And please help me to be honest with myself, with You, and with others in all of my dealings. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Joshua 1:7 (NIV).