A few weeks ago I received an email about an award to be given for honesty. In the blink of an eye, I realized I knew no one who would expect to receive such an accolade, so whatever the requirements to nominate someone were, they didn't concern me. I deleted the email and scrolled to another one.
But the headline has been screaming at me. In one instant I think, "An award for honesty? What has our society come to? But in the next minute I think of all the deception around us. Within the past year we've heard about insider trading, corrupt management of governmental agencies and folks who take other people's money for themselves while telling them they're investing it. Not to mention, the many times prominent political figures have lied to the public about their relationships, what they'll do when they get in office, and what they believe.
Yet, a majority of people still want righteous leaders. If they didn't, folks wouldn't have to lie in the first place. When we get right down to it, the words "private" and "personal," which we often use when speaking of the lives of others, infer that what one does outside of his or her elected office really isn't our business. But, we want to be governed by those with high moral standards, so those in the spotlight lie when they realize they'll disappoint us if they don't.
We've put the word "honest" into the background of our lives. In the dictionary it means "sincere or fair," "gained by fair means," and "frank and open." If we use anything resembling it, we use "transparent" which means "transmitting light rays so that objects on the other side may be seen," "so fine in texture as to be seen through" and "easily understood or detected; obvious."
There are accounts of people who cheat, lie and steal as far back as Biblical times. But it's recorded that it's wrong, and those who do it are punished. Those living in Biblical times who didn't cheat, lie and steal didn't receive awards for being honest anymore than they received awards for not murdering someone.
Shouldn't we drop "transparent" and get back to "honest" without awards?
Exodus 20: 15- 16, "You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."