The temptation to cheat is a lifelong battle. Throughout our life, there are a multitude of situations which arise that present a golden opportunity to compromise principle to obtain momentary success, appeasement or self-gratification. The older we get, the longer the book becomes which is full of justifications, excuses and good reasons for excusing our propensity to cheat.
It seems to me, based strictly on personal experience, that cheaters tend to either be the most dominant people around or the ones most beaten down. One cheats to facilitate becoming "top dog" while the other cheats to just survive. The older brother of cheating is stealing, and those that steal either do so to get more (Bernie Madoff) or to stay alive. Cheating is basically stealing and vice a versa.
I have yet to meet anyone who likes a cheater. Usually anyone who cheats to get ahead is scorned, despised and hated. Yet, when the cheater receives the winner’s spoils and basks in the glow of being number one, the competitive drive within takes over and many times results in the breakdown of the ethical wall of resistance to cheating.
I was reading a story this morning of a baseball player who because he refused to take steroids and other performance enhancing drugs, never got big or strong enough to become a regular major league player. He has spent the past ten years being traded and released from team to another and spent most of his time in the minor leagues making a fraction of what a big league player makes.
I cannot imagine the pressure placed upon someone who watches one person after another cheat and get financially rewarded for it. I cannot imagine the feelings that would arise within a person’s mind as they see others playing in the Big Leagues and making millions of dollars per year while they are mired in the minor leagues making 60 thousand per season.
There seems to be an unwritten rule that somehow justifies cheating in the mind of a ultra competitive people. The person who just HAS TO WIN, has convinced himself that the end (winning) justifies the means (cheating). For the person whose day/week/life is ruined by losing, winning is not optional, it is absolutely essential.
I remember vividly being approached by a fellow student in High School who had stolen the answers to a tough test coming up in one of the classes. He would sell me those answers for $20 (a lot of money in 1970). I politely told him NO because I despised cheating and cheaters. He shrugged his shoulders and the very next person gladly handed him a 20 dollar bill.
Yes, the person who paid for the answers got an A on the test and I believe I got a B minus or C plus. Yes, I could have avoided parental ire and received more accolades from the teacher if I had cheated but I would not have been able to live with myself. The knowledge that I had "sinned" would have eaten me alive and canceled out the thrill of "winning".
Every day that I drive down Interstate 70 I am tempted to join the line of vehicles going 84 miles per hour. Everyone knows the authorities don’t give tickets unless someone is going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. Thus, a high percentage of drivers go 14 miles per hour over and don’t think twice about it. To them, the speed limit is 84 mph.
However tempted I am to join the parade of speeding cars and trucks, I know in my heart it is wrong. Whether I agree with the law as stated on the speed limit sign or not; it is the law and due to my nature I cannot blatantly break the law just because I am in a hurry or because everyone else is doing it. Isn’t it amazing how just because someone else cheats it somehow makes it right?
The only way to avoid getting caught up in the cheating trap is to more or less decide to never cheat. Even if the reward for being and staying honest is poverty, solitude and scorn; it is better than spending a lifetime spouting off the same lame excuses which somehow provide justification for bending, twisting and ultimately breaking the rules.
This above all:
To thine own self be true,
for it must follow as dost the night the day,
that canst not then be false to any man.
"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15 (English Standard Version)
To my shame In my youth I would not have thought twice about cheating. You are so right, the thrill of the prize is negated by the knowledge of how that prize was achieved.
But I thank God he took my shame and gave me a garment of praise in its place. Today I have taught my children that its better to come in last with your honour intact than first with the burden of shame.
And I hear you.. I will slow down.
When we honor the Lord, He honors us and supplies every need we have - so there is no need to cheat. Praise the Lord.
Luke 6:38 For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word,keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
Honesty indeed is a good virtue even if it means patience to get the reward.
Thanks B2Y be blessed.
Funny, as a teacher I confront cheating quite a bit... even in the second grade. Even in second grade, no one likes a cheater... and they are very vocal about it! Yet cheating is reaching epidemic proportions at least here in America. I agree, cheating is basically stealing and it all boils down to that old scourge of humanity... pride. "It is my right because... "
May we lay down our pride and trust in Him for all that we need and remember that rewards in this world will fade away but the rewards which come from God are eternal!
Side note: I love the works of Socrates! I recently read Julius Cesaer by both Socrates and William Shakespear and was shocked to see how many parallels there were between both plays! It wasn't until later (of course) that I realized William Shakespear copied, for lack of a better word, Socrates' work! Honestly, I couldn't believe it.
Anywho, wonderful blog and much needed at that. :)
I guess in one of my blogs! I should not have put I cheated it is just an expression! of I went to the bible? Which in Gods way is not a cheat! because he expects us to look it up before we same something anyway to make sure it lines up with Gods word. But most of the word I said on my blog I knew anyway.
But there was this case I do not believe I cheated. I will give you a good example.
When I went for my driving licences, I was an excellent driver! but not good at the questions I kept getting it wrong. God actually told me I was an excellent driver! because my dad taught me how? to drive and than a boyfriend taught me to drive properly.
Now as I said before it was only the written! I had problems with, but the traffic cop read me it and said is that the answer! I said Yes! he said No! it is wrong, than he pointed to another question and said is that the answer again! I said Yes! He said No! than of course there was only one more question to ask which? was the answer! so I said Yes He goes correct. He let me past like this?
When I went out I never thought I was a cheat and still do not today! because I believe it was ministering Angels that got my results. And as I told You before God already explained I was an excellent driver.
But see God saw that I tried! my hardest but still did not get the right! answer it was quite funny really I have a full time licence and I still believe it is mine No matter what? anyone thinks. God gets mad when You do not have a licence and You are on the road and believe me I have seen heaps that have not got a licence and are on the road.
And when I went to my University again! the Teachers help me with my work! I have done it all myself but Yeah I do have difficulties with my punctuation and putting it into proper paragraphs but all the work is my own what? I talked about and put on paper is my own life stories and my own work. only in computing did they do most of it for me, that is where my son picked it up also saying You do not know much about computers do You only! You are an excellent typist. He said You let all the teachers do it instead of You doing it Yourself He was absolutely Right!!! Again I say God is still getting me the degree! I am not cheating look at me now do you think I would be doing what? I am
doing on here if I was cheating. I still learned alot through it.
Come on God uses His Angels to bless us! do not throw it back in there faces.
Just be greatful the Lord helps! The Angels would not help me if they knew I could not drive, and did not know the road rules would they! but they knew I knew the road rules I hope You get what I am trying to say some of it is not cheating...
Signed Deanna Child of the Living God.