Is Honesty the Best Policy?

By: Bill Bratt

Email: info@icogsfg.org


I would like to begin by telling a story.

Three boys were bragging about their Fathers: The first one said, My Dad can shoot an arrow and make it to the target before the arrow hits it. The second boy said, Well, my Dad can shoot a deer with a gun 500 yards away and be there to catch the deer before it hits the ground. The third boy said, That's nothing. My Dad works for the city, He can punch out at 5:00 in the afternoon and be home by 4:00!

Kin Hubbard is quoted as saying: honesty pays, but it don't seem to pay enough to suit some people.

Mark Twain has stated: honesty is the best policy--when there is money in it.

I have a question for you: IS HONESTY THE BEST POLICY?

Webster's Dictionary defines the word HONEST as:

" 1. Not lying, cheating, stealing or taking unfair advantage; honorable; truthful; trustworthy;

2. Equitable; fair; honest wages for an honest day's work.

3. Having or manifesting integrity and truth;"

Let's amplify the Definition: Honesty is telling the truth!

When asked a question you should

tell the truth rather than say what you think the other person wants to hear.

Telling the truth is always the best way to live your life.

By NOT being honest, people will NOT know when to believe you. Remember the story of the little boy who cried WOLF.

How Does God Feel about Honesty?

"You shall have honest scales, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt" (Leviticus 19:36).

God wants us to be honest in business and in our dealings with people.

Let's look at a couple more scriptures: "Honest weights and scales are the Lord's; All the weights in the bag are His work" (Proverbs 16:11).

"Let me be weighed on honest scales, That God may know my integrity"  (Job 31:6).

GOD wants us to be HONEST.

Abrahamís Bad Example

Let's notice what Abraham did:

"Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land. {11} And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance. {12} Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, 'This is his wife'; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. {13} Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you. {14} So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful. {15} The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh's house. {16} He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels. {17} But the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. {18} And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? {19} Why did you say, 'She is my sister'? I might have taken her as my wife. Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way. {20} So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had" (Genesis 12:10-20).

In Gen. 12:10-20 Abraham was afraid that the Egyptians would kill him so that their Pharaoh could take his beautiful wife Sarai to be his wife, so he told the Pharaoh that Sarai was his sister.

Was Abram being honest? This was a HALF TRUTH.

Genesis 20:12 says: "But indeed she is truly my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife."

Adam Clarke's Commentary says: it is evident she was his stepsister, i.e., his sister by his father, but by a different mother.

Abram was not being honest! The truth was that she was his wife.

God sent a plague on Pharaoh and his house, and when Pharaoh realized it was because Sarai was another man's wife, he was most upset.

Can you blame him?

Abraham was not being honest!

Abraham was not being completely truthful!

Peterís Example

Let's look at another example:

"Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, You also were with Jesus of Galilee. {70} But he denied it before them all, saying, I do not know what you are saying. {71} And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those there, This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth. {72} But again he denied with an oath, I do not know the Man! {73} And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you. {74} Then he began to curse and swear, saying, I do not know the Man! Immediately a rooster crowed. {75} And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times. So he went out and wept bitterly" (Matthew 26:69-75).

Peter was not being honest!

Peter was bearing False Witness!

Peter was not being truthful.

How Do You Feel About Being Honest?

In the near future you will be tested on your honesty. How? The answer is: APRIL 15th.

April 15th. is the deadline for filing your Income Tax.

Preparing your tax return will test your honesty.

When you prepare your taxes, keep two things in mind:

1.) The eight commandment says: Thou shall not steal.

2.) Jesus said to them, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's " (Matthew 22:21).

God wants us to be honest in paying our taxes. If you can deduct it, then deduct it.

Play it by the book.

The Babysitter who had two rates.

There was a fellow who needed a babysitter and he contacted a lady. This babysitter gave him two rates. One if he reported it on his income tax and lower rate if he didn't. This meant that if he didn't report it neither would she report it on her income tax. This is ILLEGAL and it's wrong.

This was probably a big temptation. Sometimes it is easy to get trapped into being dishonest without even trying! We have to be on our guard to be honest!

Be Honest

The apostle Paul instructs us to be honest before all men. "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men" (Rom 12:17 KJV).

Notice that we are admonished to think even honestly!

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Phil 4:8 KJV).

We must build character and that character must be based on honesty!

In Conclusion:

Is honesty the best POLICY?

The answer is YES. God wants us to be honest. Honesty should be part of our character.

It is said that George Washington was honest in that he told his father that he had cut down the cherry tree.

Letís conclude with a quotation by George Washington:

"I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough, to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an Honest man."




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