It’s challenging raising kids in today’s culture. One of the character traits we drill in our children is honesty. Jesus said,
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
For those who know Christ, emulating Jesus should be at the top of our “to do” lists.
Decades ago, the culture encouraged honest living as well. Shows like “Andy Griffith,” “Leave it to Beaver,” and the “Walton’s” taught the importance of living a life of integrity, honesty being a much sought after and respected virtue. Today, not so much. One of ABC Family’s most popular shows is “Pretty Little Liars.” Because of high ratings, it’s been airing for seven seasons. What has happened to the popularity of truth?
As a child, my parents washed my mouth out with soap when I told a lie. I learned quickly a strong distaste for Dove Bars and made it a habit to tell the truth. As a child, I was held accountable. No differentiation of lies existed. Little white lies and great big lies fell under the same category, lying. At a very young age I learned,
“Honesty is the best policy.”
In a recent study, 53% of the people polled shared their mistrust of the President. Personally, I can’t believe it’s that low. A few months ago, the President confidently stated “not a smidgen” of corruption existed in his Administration. For those paying attention, they realized his statement resonated with truth. Instead of “not a smidgen,” there’s a colossal amount of corruption in his administration. Though many bash dishonest politicians, and rightly so, this trait of dishonesty permeates other areas of life as well, with little or no consequence.
A few days ago, sports reporters jumped on the news of the New England Patriots and deflated footballs. According to NFL rules, footballs must be inflated to a certain level and then checked prior to kick-off by a league official. Between the official check and the coin toss, someone deflated the footballs. Lowering the air pressure enables the quarterback to grip the ball with more authority and on cold days makes the ball softer to catch, a perk for the wide receivers. Would the Patriots have won had the balls been inflated properly? Absolutely. The Colts played miserably. However, one team attempted to get an edge over another through dishonest means. How’s a Dad supposed to instill honesty and sportsmanship when a cheating team might win the Super Bowl?
There’s only one way. I must direct them to embrace the teachings of the Word of God.
The word “Christian” literally means, “Little Christ.” One way to imitate Christ is to be people of our word. John 8:44 shares plainly,
“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
In other words, we’re never more like the devil than when we lie. That nugget from the Bible strikes a chord with people. I’ve never met anyone excited about the prospect of relationally favoring the devil and his modus operandi. Yet, “Pretty Little Liars” ranks highly with its viewers.
Instead of ignoring the importance of truth telling, let’s be people of integrity and of our word. And let’s remember the oft quoted statement from Bejamin Franklin,
“Honesty is the best policy.”
And by the way, there’s nothing pretty about lying…..