How many times have we been tempted to tell a lie, thinking it would benefit us more than telling the truth? The temptation may have come to cheat on our income tax form, or to withhold information on a report, or to enhance our resume, using false information.
Recently I was faced with such a temptation. I had been hired to teach at a university on the condition that my master's degree would be completed by the date school began. Because of red tape, the day came for me to teach, and I did not officially have my degree. It was explained that if I reported this information to the dean of the university, I would very possibly be dismissed from the faculty.
There was a decision to make. I could either go with what looked like the obvious and secure choice, not telling the dean and keeping the job; or I could tell the truth and risk losing a job I had been counting on for a good part of my income.
Christian Science had taught me that God is Truth, that He is the only power and the very source of our being. God, Truth, is man's creator. I reasoned that to tell a lie would be to take a directly opposite view of God as an imperfect creator capable of having dishonest offspring.
But was this the time to be religious? Could I actually take a radical stand for Truth and trust that I would not suffer? On the other hand, could I afford to believe that the opposite of Truth, a lie, would promise me more security? Could the opposite of Truth help and protect me?
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, answers these questions in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She states: ''Honesty is spiritual power. Dishonesty is human weakness, which forfeits divine help.'' n1
n1 Science and Health, p. 453.
Yes, right then was the time to take a stand against such a temptation! I knew I could rely on this divine law: Truth is our protection. I knew that God is the source of all good and that believing in the security of a lie would be believing in, and serving, another power. It would be breaking the first commandment, ''Thou shalt have no other gods before me.'' n2 I decided that now was the time to serve the one God, Truth. When I explained my situation to the dean, he was perfectly satisfied with my report and had no reservations about signing the contract.
n2 Exodus 20:3.
We can each turn to God for help. To lie or cheat is simply to misunderstand the nature of God, the infinite source of all blessings. Our Father-Mother God loves us and is constantly providing good for us. We just have to be willing to recognize and accept that good. To trust God, Truth, is practical. Being honest is the most natural and freeing thing for us to be.
Mrs. Eddy asks, ''If thought is startled at the strong claim of Science for the supremacy of God, or Truth, and doubts the supremacy of good, ought we not, contrariwise, to be astounded at the vigorous claims of evil and doubt them, and no longer think it natural to love sin and unnatural to forsake it, - no longer imagine evil to be ever-present and good absent? Truth should not seem so surprising and unnatural as error, and error should not seem so real as truth.'' n3
n3 Science and Health, pp. 130-131.
Now is the time to assert the power of Truth and to accept our freedom from temptation. Now is the time for us to be blessed and protected by Truth! DAILY BIBLE VERSE Take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having our loins girt about with truth. Ephesians 6:13, 14 .