SHARING and CARING…it’s what LIFE is all about!

Honesty is the Best Policy

Posted by on Feb 28, 2015 in Blog, Food for Thought | 4 comments

This past Monday (February 23) Doug and I left for Florida for the month of March. We crossed the border at Gananogue, ON, a route we don’t usually take, but we had planned on an extra few days to visit a friend in Pennsylvania and our son and daughter-in-law in Maryland.

I was a little stressed about crossing the border, probably because last year I had been lucky in taking some fresh fruit over the border without declaring it. But to be honest, it had nothing to do with luck . I had chosen not to declare the fruit we had in the car because I didn’t want to give it up. I had no idea what the consequences would have been had our car been pulled over and searched and the apples and oranges in our cooler been discovered. It wasn’t until a few months later that I learned what could have happened. Like being flagged on the US border computers and being refused entry into the States!

I didn’t want that to happen this year, or any other year, for that matter. But more importantly, I didn’t want to face the shame that resulted from the proverbial quote, “Be sure your sins will find you out.” Besides, I had just recently taught a Bible lesson on Integrity. So, I found myself rehearsing what I would say.

I had packed two pink grapefruit to enjoy at some point on our travels but we had not eaten them before we arrived at the crossing. With the fruit in a plastic bag at my feet, I waited for the voice-with-authority, badge-heavy, intimidating guard to ask, ” Do you have any fresh fruit?” And he didn’t have to wait long for my answer.

“Yes, I do. Shall I give it to you?

He just stuck out his hand with an air of importance and simply said, “Yes.”

So there was my fruit, lying by his computers while he continued to ask the remainder of his questions before he finally waved us through. And for the next few moments, I felt really proud of myself…but it didn’t last long. I knew deep down that had he not asked me, I would have probably kept the grapefruit.

You know the old expression, Pride cometh before the fall? Well I didn’t fall as much as I felt a pang of conviction. What about my lesson on Integrity? Was this teacher beyond her own lesson? Was I being a little smug on what I would have done had I not been asked? After all, I could have reasoned that if he hadn’t asked me if I had fresh fruit, I wouldn’t have had to give it up. It wasn’t very long after passing through customs when I realized that even though I may not have been asked, I would have still been in the wrong by not revealing the fruit.

In the grand scheme of things, I suppose being dishonest about withholding fresh fruit and getting away with it doesn’t measure up to the much bigger lies committed by dishonest and even immoral people. However, God is the one holding the measuring stick and I knew I had fallen short, again. The whole scene was a very humbling lesson of practising what I preached, or simply, failing to live up to the standard God has clearly set.

Based on Scripture, there’s an expression, It’s the little foxes that spoil the grapes, implying that the small creatures can sneak up on our vineyards, dig little holes under our brick walls and quietly do more harm than the bears or wolves that we can see coming. Likewise, the seemingly small, harmless lies can sneak into our character and we find ourselves willing to make excuses and even tolerate our choice to lie—either by commission or omission—by downgrading it to just a little white lie.

So, in an effort to remind myself what God had clearly reminded me, let me share the lessons taught and learned, yet again, by yours truly.

A woman (or man!) of Integrity…

• will stand for truth in spite of heavy ridicule
• will not strike back when she has a worldly right to do so
• will respect herself, realizing her integrity is at the core of who she is
• realizes she will lose her integrity when she compromises the truth and begins to rationalize
• realizes she needs to build relationships with people of integrity
• will acknowledge Christ as the PERFECT example of Integrity

And to support this, the Bible teaches that Integrity…

• means being fair and truthful – Ephesians 4:29
• is giving your word and keeping it – Exodus 8:28-32
• will protect you – Proverbs 11:3, 28:18
• will be rewarded – Psalm 41:11-12
• should set an example – Colossians 3:17
• can be corrupted by bad company – 1 Corinthians 15:33
• is difficult to maintain – Proverbs 10:9
• is more valuable than riches – Proverbs 28:6

Like I said, very humbling.

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
Proverbs 10:9 ESV


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Heather.

    Blessings to you for sharing your “fruit.” Always.

  2. Greg

    You never go wrong by telling the truth! God will never put us in a position where a lie is the only option. (Heb 4:15)

    • Ruth Waring

      Great verse, Greg. For those unfamiliar with it, it reads as follows: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”

  3. Susan Duke

    Good lesson Ruth……many people would have challenged the “rule” of no transporting of fruit or vegetables. The law is the law.

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