My sister Joni is a book-lover. Yesterday she went to a large book sale, looking in particular for picture books for her grandchildren. After shopping for a while and selecting quite a stack, she took the books to the check-out desk and asked the clerk to hold them for her while she continued to shop.
When she finished shopping, she went to the desk to pay for the books she had chosen. The clerk looked at first flustered and then apologetic.
“Another woman told me we were holding those books for her,” she said. “She has already paid for them and left the shop.”
I once worked with a young woman who loved nice clothes. One Monday morning she was wearing a new mid-calf sheath that looked especially nice on her. I complimented her on it and then noticed something awry. The price tag was sticking out of the neck opening in the back of the dress.
“Ooops,” I said. “The price tag on your dress is sticking out. Let me cut it off for you.”
“No!” she snapped. “Don’t cut it off. I bought this dress to wear to church yesterday for Easter. I’m wearing it again today. Then I’m going to return it to the store and say it didn’t fit. I do it all the time.”
When I was teaching English to adults many years ago, a student came to me at the end of class. She told me she could not submit her term paper, though it was due.
As she was driving to class that day, she said, she had car trouble. She stopped at a garage to have a mechanic look at her car. For some reason, she took her term paper into the garage with her and accidentally left it there. Since the paper was still at the garage, she wanted me to excuse her from turning it in on that date.
I said, “Go back to the garage and get your paper and turn it in to me before the end of the day.”
The student called me later in the day and told me she went back to the garage and found her paper, but it had gotten covered with grease. She knew I wouldn’t want to read a term paper that was messy.
I told her to bring the paper to me anyway. I would evaluate only its content, not its appearance.
I never saw the paper, and the woman eventually stopped attending class.
The untruths described above are fairly insignificant. But, if I know nothing else about the women depicted, I know they are not completely honest. This proves the saying, Tell a lie once and all your truths become questionable. (Pinterest)
When I was a little girl, the words lie, liar, and lying were not used in our house. An untruth was referred to as a story. The one telling the story was a storyteller, and the act itself was referred to as storytelling.
If my mother suspected I was being less than truthful, she asked me, “Are you telling me the truth or are you telling me a story?”
In the three scenarios above, the woman who took the books that were not hers, the woman who “borrowed” a dress from a store, and the woman who failed to turn in her term paper all told stories.
I wouldn’t ask either one of these storytellers to housesit for me or to hold my purse while I was in the restroom. Trust that has been broken is hard to put back together.
Luke 16:10 reads, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
That is why a mom drags her kid back to the convenience store to return a swiped candy bar. She knows that a stolen candy bar today may be a stolen car years later.
Limit your storytelling to the sweet fairytales you tell your children at bedtime. Demand complete honesty from them, and from yourself.