Honesty is not the best policy; it is the only policy, and a Minnesota family agrees after a brief brush thinking otherwise.
At a fund-raising event, 11-year old Nate Smith of Faribault, Minnesota skated out to compete in a contest to swat a hockey puck 89 feet into a 3½-inch plastic goal. Nate has a twin brother, Nick, who was the actual entrant since Nate had just had an arm cast recently removed. When Nick’s raffle ticket number was called, he was outside the arena, and twin brother Nate was hastily substituted.
Amazingly, Nate did made the shot, and he looked to be set to receive a $50,000 prize—until the truth won out.
The euphoria lasted a day until family consultations concluded that the winner wasn’t actually the winner and living with a lie, no matter how close to the truth, wasn’t worth the stress. Although Nate’s father, Pat Smith, had hastily signed a document affirming the absent son’s win, he later cleared the air explaining, “The next day we felt so badly, I called the organizers. We told them that Nate made the shot. We did the right thing.” (As of this writing, there has been no decision on whether Nate gets the money or not.)
Indeed, the right thing always reflects ultimate truth. Living a lie, especially a family falsehood, mars parents’ example and degrades children’s character. The formative impressions linger into adulthood. As the twig is bent so grows the limb. The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) True freedom is not to freedom to do wrong but to do right.
Years ago an Israeli politician faced a serious decision affecting the future of his country. He said that before he decided, he was going home to talk to two people. “I want to talk to my grandfather who has been dead for several years and I want to talk to my grandson, yet unborn.” Of course, he didn’t believe in speaking directly with either, but he illustrated the importance of recognizing the wisdom of the past and his responsibility for future generations.
Every family needs to get its moral priorities straight. Thankfully, the Smith twins will grow up knowing that truth is priceless and ill-gotten gain is dangerous. Better still, I hope that all youths come to understand that Christ is, as He Himself said, “the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Satan is “a murderer from the beginning, does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)
Thus, truth and error are in major disagreement. When truth wins, great blessing abounds.