[ The Trumans - Honesty... the Best Policy? ]
 

If there is one thing that everyone does, it’s talk. Most of the time WAY altogether too much… without much of value being said. But the real issue lies in how truthful and honest the words are. We usually don’t feel the need to lie when things are good; rather we face the temptation when we are about to, or have already done something bad. Therein lies (no pun intended) the problem that Peter is about to face. He will have to decide between the seemingly easy way of lying, and the scarier path of owning up to his mistakes. Let’s see what happened to land him in this position

Honesty... the Best Policy?

Peter slumped down into the soft chair in the living room and longingly looked outside the window.

”Why does it always have to rain on Sundays?” he grumbled to himself.

For three weeks in a row Peter’s Sunday basketball plans have been rained out.

“I wish there was some way I could practice my hook shot instead of just sitting inside bored all day,” he thought. A noise startled him out of his reverie and he saw his dog Cleo, playing with the laundry basket that Peter’s mom had forgotten to put away. “You know,” he thought,” that basket is just about the right size to practice my hook shot. If I’m careful mom will never know I practiced in the house.”

Well, I’ll bet you can guess what happens next. After a few great shots Peter missed the basket and the ball bounced into his mom’s favorite lamp, smashing it to pieces.

“Oh, no,” Peter cried out in a panic,” That was mom’s favorite lamp! What am I going to do?! Maybe if I glue it back together mom won’t notice.” So he raced off to find some glue.

While he was searching his mom walked into the living room looking for the laundry basket.

“Ah, there it is,” she exclaimed seeing the basket in the corner. As she crossed the room to get it, she stepped on something with a loud crunch. “Oh, no,” she exclaimed in horror as she looked down at the floor, “What happened to my lamp?”

Just then Peter walked back into the room with the glue in his hand. “Peter,” his mom asked startling him. “Do you know what happened to my lamp?”

Now Peter is faced with a difficult situation here. He was shooting hoops in the house when he shouldn’t have been, and to make things worse, he broke his mom’s lamp. Peter could deny that he had anything to do with breaking it, or he could even blame the dog. It might get him out of trouble with his mom but, what does Yahweh say about lying. In Proverbs 12:22 it states, ”Yahweh detests lying lips, but he delights in men that are truthful.” We also find in Psalm 101:7 that Yahweh says, ”No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.” Exodus 20:16 reads, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” These passages of scripture leave no doubt that Yahweh can’t stand it when we lie. If Peter lied to his mom about the lamp, he would also disappoint Yahweh. On the other hand, if Peter tells his mom the truth, she’d be so angry he’d probably never see a basketball again much less play it.

What would you do? Would you tell the truth about the lamp, or would you lie about what you have done and hope that your mom believes you? Remember Job 34:21, which reads, ”His eyes are on the ways of men; he sees their every step.”

Let’s see what Peter does in this situation.

“I’m waiting for an answer,” Peter’s mom said sternly, “Do you know how my lamp got broken?”

Peter said a quick prayer and answered, “It was me, mom,” Peter said sheepishly, “I was playing with the basketball, and I accidentally broke the lamp. I’m sorry.”

Peter’s mom looked at the broken lamp and then at Peter. “Well, I am a little angry at you because you broke the lamp, but I’m glad that you told me the truth.” She said. “That really took a lot of courage.” “And please, from now on if you want to play basketball, wait and do it outside where there’s nothing of mine to break. Clean up the mess, please.”

“Ok, mom, I’m sorry I broke your favorite lamp.” Peter said apologetically. “I won’t do it again.”

“Well, to be honest” she said, “I was about to replace it anyway, the cord was frayed.”

So did Peter do the right thing when he told his mom the truth? Of course he did. And things didn’t turn out as bad as he had imagined. There are so many situations that we face each day that present us with the choices of honesty or deceit. And our impulses and imagination can steer us wrong. All we need to remember is what Yahweh says about truthfulness. He will never fail us when we confront these difficult situations. Yahweh is always with us, even in the darkest times.

Exercise:

Can you think of other Scripture passages that might apply here? Write them down.

If you can, send them in a letter or an e-mail to us along with a short note explaining how you think they would have helped Peter make the right choice. We’ll print some of your passages and thoughts to help others (and Peter) in the future.

Until Peter’s next dilemma… May Yahweh bless and guide you every day!