1 Corinthians 13: 1 & 13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

24 May 2012

Be an honest Makopanian

Good morning everybody! Today is the beginning of the learning period of honesty. It’s my pleasure to talk about this topic. The third president of the United States Thomas Jefferson said that ‘Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.’ And William Shakespeare says, ‘Honesty is the best policy. If you lose your honor, you lose your life’. What is honesty or being honest and how important is it? According to the Longman Dictionary, someone with an honest character always tells the truth and does not cheat or steal. When he speaks, he does not hide the truth or facts about something. He speaks what he really thinks. Perhaps let me tell you two stores to illustrate the importance of honesty.
Firstly let’s look at the American marathon runner, Rosie Ruiz . She was not famous and it was her first time to take part in this well-known Marathon held in Boston in 1980. Rosie Ruiz, whose legs were flabby, was the first woman runner to cross the finish line in the Boston Marathon. Her victory was stunning as nobody seemed to know her and see her on the way. It was incredible ! Eventually , the truth came to light. It was reported that she was seen jump into the race during its final half-mile. Apparently, she cheated by simply sprinting to the finish line without running the entire race. Yet, the sad thing is she did not admit her wrongdoing. She not only lied to others but also to herself. Her dishonesty spoiled the meaning of sport and the spirit of Marathon. Her integrity was at stake.

Another sad story happened in Tuen Mun, Hong Kong. A student in my class did not like studying and once he played truant, giving me an excuse that he had to rush to China for an urgent family affair. When asked to produce the travel document, he altered the date printed in his Home Return Permit in order to go unpunished. His lie had nearly led him to a criminal offence had the school not spared him.

A few years after he left school, he would like to join the Police Force of Hong Kong. Yet, sadly, because of his dishonest record in the school, he was disqualified from the application. His dream was never fulfilled. What a shame! Dear students, if you decide not to be honest, think of the consequences. They can be disasters like the Rosie Ruiz scandal and my student’s trouble. Furthermore, look at the people around us and in the society. It’s not uncommon to see dishonesty bring destructions to family, relationships, business and career prospect.

Very often, we are tempted to tell lies or do things not following the rules so that we can avoid trouble or gain personal benefits.  Human values are ever changing, but God’s word never changes. In the Bible, He reminds us that we must be honest and faithful. As a result we gain love both from man and God. Are these your concerns which stop you from being an honest student?

My friends are doing something bad. If I point out their wrongdoings or report them to the teacher, they might stop being friends with me. I am a subject monitor or monitress or academic ambassador, I struggle whether or not I should circle my best friend who fails to hand in his homework
You are worried about losing friendship or acts of revenge . God understands our weaknesses. He taught us in Prov 24:26, ‘ An honest answer is the sign of true friendship.’ You will win your friend’s heart and respect if you tell the truth with love. God promised that he would protect and help us. ‘For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.’ (2 Chronicles 16:9).  He also taught us the right things to do. ‘These are the things you are to do; speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts.’ (Zechariah 8:16). Remember to have His blessings which are much better than those short-term benefits of the world as God also promised us in Proverbs 28:20 ‘A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.’

You might ask me a question: what should I do in my daily life to be an honest Makopanion? Here is a checklist for you to observe.

You are being honest when you ...
  • Do your own homework
  • Tell a friend the truth
  • Explain the real reason you didn't turn in your homework
  • Keep your eyes on your own test/exam paper
  • Give the cashier the extra money she gave you by mistake
  • Write a report /project in your own words instead of copying
  • Admit you made the mistake and say ‘sorry’
  • Keep a friend's secret
  • Perform your duty wholeheartedly
·         Turn in a wallet full of money that you found 

This list can be endless and inexhaustive. It’s best for us to turn to our Lord for His guidance. In Philippians 4:8, He says:

‘Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.’
God’s standard is high and being honest at all times seems impossible. But with God, nothing is impossible. Just pray and pray for His wisdom and strength to walk with you day by day, and you will be abundantly blessed.

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