A shameful pursuit

April 23rd, 2019

Honesty is the best policy. Winners never cheat, and cheaters never win. These old adages were once used to discourage dishonesty in society. Nonetheless, honesty and truth seem to have become more and more relative and situational, while also becoming less and less absolute.

Evidence of this is found in the recent scandal regarding parents accused of buying admission into universities for their children through bribery and cheating. According to ABC News, the cheating scandal was exposed on March 12 when charges were brought against more than 50 people, including celebrities such as Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. William Singer, the head of a college counseling service, pleaded guilty to helping students gain admission by cheating on ACTs and SATs and falsely claiming applicants were student athletes. According to the indictment, he accepted bribes in the amount of 25 million dollars to execute the scheme. Charges of taking the ACT and SAT for other students at the instruction of Singer led to the guilty plea of another person, Mark Riddell. It is possible also that adult students who had knowledge of the deception could face charges.

Unfortunately, cheating and other dishonest practices occur in all walks of life. Even more disconcerting is the prevalence and normalization of such acts. Dr. Donald McCabe and the International Center for Academic Integrity conducted research and surveys showing that 68 percent of 71,300 undergraduates (excluding freshman) admitted to cheating on writing assignments and exams.

Not worth it

Has the pursuit of worldly gain become more valuable than truth and honesty? Not according to Jesus, who asked in Matthew 16:26: “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (NIV). Christians must choose to refuse any opportunity or temptation that endangers our integrity, reputation, and most importantly, our eternal life with Christ. It simply is not worth it!

Question of the day: When have you lied to benefit yourself or someone close to you?
Focal scriptures: Isaiah 33:14-16; 2 Corinthians 8:19-21; 1 Peter 2:11-12

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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