It seems that honesty and integrity is an old relic of American life. I’m not so ignorant to think that we haven’t been plagued with dishonesty in the past. As long as we dwell in this rot hole called planet earth, we will be graced with the presence of dishonest scoundrels. But what once was a novelty of those who wrestled with power in far off places and the presence of a local con-man has become a cultural norm everywhere. I don’t know what to blame it on other than the fact that most have no fear of God. The fear of man is about all that is left, and that is hanging on by a thread or two. I once had a supervisor a few years ago who asked me to fudge some numbers on a report that I had to send in to the Federal Government. The reason he had for asking me to falsify these numbers was that he didn’t want to get griped out by upper-management in the next quarterly meeting. I told him that he was welcome to do what he wanted to do, but that I was “not” going to lie on any report. I was willing to take an ass-chewing from upper-management before I would lie on those reports. He told me that sometimes you have to “cut corners” to make it in this world. I told him that folks that think like him is what has everything screwed up. I also told him that I would be lying if I said I had never lied before, but the truth is that I need to stop and so should he. I didn’t win any favoritism points with him that day or anytime after, but that’s okay. I haven’t always stood up to folks like that as I should, but I can say that I had a victory there for sure.
I have noticed that most large corporations have declined to deceptive and duplicitous rhetoric to snare potential customers to sign a contract or buy their product. What’s more is after a year or two, they jack-up the damn price, trapping the customer and putting them in a difficult place financially. Oh, it’s in the fine print, but that’s after you’ve agreed to signing the contract over the phone. What’s bad about this is that almost “everyone” does this. One of my coworkers once reminded me that if you have a good product, you don’t have to sucker them into an agreement, they’ll be banging on your door asking to sign up. The truth is too that the government has propped up these large corporations making the problem worse. They do it in the name of preserving jobs for their constituency, but what they do is kill freedom in the markets and limit choices for the consumers and workers. If I lost my job working for one of those companies participating in chicanery because they went out of business, I would probably find work with the company or companies who weren’t.
However you slice it, we have a problem and it is growing. I once thought that I was just being cynical, but not anymore. My cynicism has become a reality. This all started in a scanty corner of civilization and what was once a small manageable wart has spread into a malignant cancer. I was once a County Extension Agent over in the Mississippi River Delta on the Arkansas side and there was an old farmer down the road from my office that I stopped in to visit every now and then. He farmed from the depression until the 1990’s and then passed the farm over to his son who was farming it during that time. I once remember him telling me about the charity of the communities in his day. He told me that in the old days when a farmer got sick or hurt that his neighbors would bring in his crop for them and even lend equipment if they were having problems with theirs so that they could get the crops in on time and reap the best harvest. However, he said that people don’t do that anymore. They won’t help and won’t lend. He also said that if you went now to ask for help or to borrow anything, they would think that you were up to something no-good. He looked at me and said: “What happened Phil?” I told him that I haven’t been on the earth as long as he has, but that I imagined folks got too damn busy to help or care anymore. I was just a city boy with an Agri-education, but that the lack of neighborly affection was rampant everywhere.
This problem goes beyond a dirt-bag supervisor or even a corrupt corporation. This problem has infected almost “every” aspect of society. Even pastors of churches are engaging in dishonest rhetoric, and as Saint James would say; “these things ought not to be so.” It’s true that we are all a work in progress, but the first step to humility is honesty. How hard it is to be “perfect.” As Christians we are called to perfection. While it isn’t perfectly attainable in this lifetime, and only by the grace of God will you enter into heaven, we aren’t trying hard enough. One reason is because we have no fear of God. Men and women who fear God know that He and His angels are always watching. They also know that the demons watch and gloat when we sin. The father of lies just beams with happiness and pride when we are selfish and dishonest because we are following in his footsteps. Why do you think Jesus told the Pharisees that they were of their father the devil? They were engaging in similar activities that I just described. The questions we all need to ask: “Am I being honest with God?” “Am I being honest with others?” “Am I being honest with myself?” If you want to make this world a better place, stop being a dishonest dirt-bag and start being honest in all of your dealings. Start caring for others, even care about your fellow reprobates. Sure, sometimes being honest hurts. It’s mainly because we all have skeletons in our closets, we all know that being honest at work may not get us promoted, but at least we will sleep better at night. If you are one of those who is deceitful and does sleep well at night, then you are in a really bad place. You dwell with Esau and Cain and my prayer for you is that God will give you a heart of flesh. I am writing this because I need to remind myself of how easy it is to slip into dishonesty and pride. I struggle with the same disease that you do. It is called the “old man,” or “sin nature.” and I am striving to put him to death also. Nevertheless, all of this is in vain without an adherence to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. If you want to know Him then I suggest you pray, confess your sins and repent. Read a Bible and then find an honest congregation and pastor who will lead you in the right direction. Salvation is instant and it is a process (2 Timothy 1:9/ 1 Corinthians 1:18/ & Romans 5:9-10).