“There are always difficult situations that can be solved with a little dishonesty.”—Samantha, South Africa.
Do you agree with that statement? Like Samantha, all of us have faced difficult situations at one time or another. How we react to situations that tempt us to be dishonest can reveal what values we hold dear. For example, if saving face is paramount to us, we would likely view being dishonest as just another tool used to accomplish the task. When the truth comes to light, however, dishonesty often brings negative consequences. Consider the following.
DISHONESTY DESTROYS TRUST
Relationships are built on trust. When two people trust each other, they feel safe and secure. But trust does not happen overnight. People build trust when they spend time together, engaging in honest communication and acting unselfishly. Trust can be shattered, however, by just one act of dishonesty. And when trust has been broken, it can be very difficult to rebuild.
Have you ever been deceived by someone you thought was a good friend? If so, how did you feel? Likely you felt hurt, even betrayed. That certainly is understandable. There is little doubt that dishonesty can destroy the fabric of precious relationships.
DISHONESTY BREEDS DISHONESTY
A study by Robert Innes, a professor of economics at the University of California, found that “dishonesty is indeed contagious.” Thus, dishonesty could be likened to a virus—the more contact you have with a person who is deceitful, the greater your risk of being “infected” with dishonesty yourself.
How can you avoid falling into the trap of dishonesty? The Bible can help you. Please consider a few Bible principles.