Christine wanted the promotion to district sales manager more than anything. She had the experience and training, but she did not have the advanced degree required for the position. She knew she could perform the duties of district sales manager better than any other candidate. At first, she dismissed the idea of claiming she had the necessary education when she didn’t. But the more she thought about it, the more it seemed harmless to lie about having the degree. After all, what would it matter once she was secure in the position and helping the company meet its sales goals? Christine thought that the Human Resources department would most likely not verify her degree, because she was well liked and very successful within the company and they trusted her. The more she thought about it, the easier it became to lie.
If no one ever finds out, is it okay to lie?
A woman of character is honest. When we live a life of honesty, we are trusted.
There are six things the Lord hates— no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes,
a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family. Proverbs 6:16-19
Cheating and dishonesty are running rampant in our society today. In April 2014, ABC Primetime News published an online article. Here are some very revealing excerpts from that article.
- Authoritative numbers are hard to come by, but according to a 2002 confidential survey of 12,000 high school students, 74 percent admitted cheating on an examination at least once in the past year.
- In a six-month investigation, Primetime traveled to colleges and high schools across the country to see how students are cheating, and why. The bottom line is not just that many students have more temptation — but they seem to have a whole new mindset.
- Joe is a student at a top college in the Northeast who admits to cheating regularly. Like all of the college students who spoke to Primetime, he wanted his identity obscured. In Joe’s view, he’s just doing what the rest of the world does. “The real world is terrible,” he told Gibson. “People will take other people’s materials and pass it on as theirs. I’m numb to it already. I’ll cheat to get by.”
This information is disturbing and reflects how our society views being dishonest as not only acceptable, but a necessity to compete.
But honesty is more than telling the truth. It is being honest with God, ourselves and others. It’s honoring the Lord by not attempting to deceive Him (as if we could!).
Where do we begin to develop the character trait of honesty?
We must be honest with God. God is all-knowing so it’s not like He doesn’t already know what’s going on with us. But He wants us to be honest with Him. When in prayer, He wants us to talk to Him about our emotions and feelings. We should confess our sins and repent. He wants us to talk to Him about our life issues.
We must be honest with ourselves. God wants us to accept who we are in Him and live as our true selves, rather than trying to live according to other people’s expectations.
We must be honest with others. Don’t lie! Be truthful with your husband, children, family, friends and co-workers. Be known as a woman of character who tells the truth and can be trusted.
So what can get in the way of being an honest woman? The desire for money, self- promotion, title or position can all be very enticing. But we can’t let anything throw us off the honesty train. A woman of character is honest, and by being honest, she is trustworthy.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Director FOCUS International Ministry for Women
Her passion is teaching biblical principles, mentoring women and organizing leadership teams. The mission of FOCUS is to “teach women that true freedom can only be found in Jesus Christ.”
God has allowed Sherry to touch the lives of many women through teaching bible studies, conference speaking, writing, and mentoring.
She is the author of Becoming a Woman of Character, a 12 week Bible study and a contributing writer to several online and print magazines for women. Sherry is also the host of Coffee and the Word radio.
Sherry and her husband, John, are the founders of Bethesda Reno-Tahoe Ministry. John currently serves as leader at Restoration Church in Fernley, Nevada.