Friday, February 8, 2013

Proverbs 11:1-3 Caught in a lie!

Here’s my own proverb this morning: Two things doth a teacher hate: cheating and tattling! - Sally White, teacher :)

This morning’s verses speak to the first:

The Lord abhors dishonest scales,

    but accurate weights are his delight.   

When pride comes, then comes disgrace,

    but with humility comes wisdom.   

The integrity of the upright guides them,

    but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. (Proverbs 11:1-3)

I realize that Solomon is speaking of true grown-up cheating and dishonesty here, but the signs of deceptive character appear in early childhood! Kids lie! They lie for different reasons: most lie for self-preservation, because they don’t want to get disciplined. This is the normal behavior of most children at one time or another, but usually you can easily get them to ‘fess up, and they will demonstrate true remorse. When this happens in a classroom, the issue is quickly resolved and over. Grace covers it, a hug is given, a lesson has been learned, and we all move on.

But for some children (who eventually become adults) lying has become a pattern of behavior, because they have never suffered any real consequences, and a confession requires police-like interrogation before the child will finally admit his guilt. But even then, there is no remorse, or excuses continue - the favorite being, “But he did it, too!” The problem for children and adults who continually get caught in lies, is that no one trusts them, so that even if they DO tell the truth, everyone is skeptical.

Someone who is willing to lie or cheat in insignificant things that really don’t matter, is probably going to lie or cheat when it counts. What about “white” lies?? There is no such thing! So when I tell my husband that the outfit that I bought, which cost $69, only cost me $60, does it matter? Of course it does! Especially when we do this in front of our children. Has anyone ever said to their kids, “Don’t tell Daddy we...” Oh my! When we do that, we are demonstrating that sometimes lying is not only okay, it’s necessary!

I’m not going to get into the whole ethical issue of lying to protect someone’s life. I’ll leave that kind of dilemma to theologians. { But didn’t Rahab do that when she hid the Jewish spies? And she’s in Christ’s genealogy! That doesn't mean it was right, but it was certainly forgiven!} However, our integrity is important because we represent Christ to the world. Let’s be careful to be truth-tellers! Little ears are listening - and God’s ears ALWAYS hear us!  

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