The Lord detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights.Proverbs 11:1 (NLT)
I was watching a high school basketball game a few years back. In fact, it was an alumni game where those who had recently graduated were playing against the school’s current varsity team. It wasn’t a very close game. In fact, the alumni were crushing the varsity team by a score of something like 62-8 at halftime. It was a major blowout.
However, all was not lost. Enter the cheater. In this instance, it just happened to be the school’s business manager. During halftime he announced that if the crowd was able to raise $500 in donations before the third period began, the scores would be flipped. In other words, the alumni would return to the court only to realize that they were now losing 8-62! Well, some generous people were able to fulfill the request, and the score was indeed flipped. The alumni just laughed about it and resolved not to let it rattle them. It didn’t. They still ended up winning the game by a score of about 88-72.
This instance of cheating was all about fun. However, how often do we cheat in everyday life? Since I work on the campus of a high school, I can assure you, it happens a lot!
Didn’t finish your algebra assignment? Find someone that did and copy down their homework. Didn’t get around to writing that term paper? That’s OK, just search the internet and “borrow” someone else’s masterpiece. Didn’t get enough steps in on the Fitbit this week for Fitness class? No worries. Just swirl it around as you sit and listen to music and watch the steps pile up. Cheating seems to be everywhere.
There is another word for cheating. It’s called “lying.” And, yes, it is actually one of the 10 commandments (Exodus 20:16). So, why does God detest cheating and lying? Because it goes against the very fabric of the Kingdom of God: Love. How can we love others while cheating/lying against them? How can we say we desire a Christ-like character, yet not follow His example? We’ve got to be honest, even when we think we won’t get caught. That’s the real test of character – being obedient, even when no one is looking.
Cheating harms our very souls, even if we think no one else gets hurt in the process. Cheating and lying are tricks of the enemy. Let’s stop following His lead.