Honesty seems to be something of the past. Lying has become an acceptable thing in our culture. It is sad but true. We are shocked when someone is honest with us. I was once called a “fool” (yes those exact words) for saying if Angela asked me if something she was wearing made her look fat that I would be honest to her. A couple of weeks ago I was in line at McDonald’s and the guy in front of me dropped some cash on the ground and didn’t notice. I picked it up and gave it back to him and his response was, “Thanks, that’s something you don’t see every day.” Where has all the honesty gone?
I recently rented a Uhaul to help move summer camp supplies back to a storage unit. The manager instructed me to check the mileage when I got in the truck and make sure it matched what was on the paper he gave me. When I got in the truck, I checked and the mileage was ten miles under what the paper said. I sat in the truck and debated what to do. I could not tell them and get ten free miles, or I could go inside and tell them. I am not proud to say it, but I wrestled with the decision. I sat there debating for what seemed like an eternity, but was probably actually about three minutes. Finally I decided to go inside and do the right thing. I let the manager know and he looked at me like I was crazy for telling him. He decided he did not feel like going back into the computer to change it and gave me ten free miles.
I think our society has become a place where they like to pretend that lying is not lying. We come up with clever excuses and names to mask what we are really doing. If I had driven off the Uhaul lot without telling the manager about the mileage I would have stolen. I do not believe that there are many people who would have viewed it as such. Proverbs 12:22 tell us, “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are His delight.” Other translations say that God “detests lying lips”. Yet so many of us lie as if it is having no impact on us or others.
When I have held people accountable for lying, I started by asking them to write down every time they lied for a week. At the end of the week, they were shocked to see how much they lied. They were shocked to see how silly most of the stuff they lied about was. They also saw the impact it was having. We all know the results of being caught in a lie, but that doesn’t seem to faze us anymore. We know the destruction they can cause, but we tell them anyway. I challenge you to write down all your lies for a week, even if you think you do not have a problem with lying. No matter how small or petty, write it down. Maybe you are right where you need to be, or maybe you need to make some adjustments. Do your part to get our culture back to a place where honesty is the standard. Help us get to a place where we are surprised when people lie, not when they are honest.
until next time…