Several days ago, Jakob was caught in a lie.  He lied to Tim and I, and was given the opportunity several times to confess and tell the truth, but he maintained his story until the truth was finally revealed and he was undeniably guilty.  He was punished for the act (he hid cookies in his back pack), but to Tim and I, the petty theft was minimal in comparison to the broken bond of trust he had caused.  His consequence for lying:  to write a 500 word essay on the virtue of Honesty.  He initially insisted that he would need to use the computer to do the research, but was denied, being told that the answers should all be within himself. 

Here is his essay:


Honesty is truth.  The truth is always right. No matter how hard it might be to tell the truth, it is always better than lying.  God is the source of all truth.  If you pray to God, you will get the power of truth.  Besides if you lie, you will only get greater punishments.  When you lie, you break the trust bond between you and other people, when you lose their trust, you will not get to do things as fun, because they can not trust you to do it the right way.

Honesty can get you in trouble, but when we think of it, we are actually pleasing God, plus it is one less sin to confess.  Those who were really truthful even unto death are the martyrs.  Martyrs like St. Sebastian who died when he was beheaded.  St. Sebastian was a Roman soldier and he converted many other Roman soldiers to the Catholic faith.  He was beheaded because he wouldn't tell a lie and say God was not real.  The church has carefully gathered the records of all those who perservere to the end in witnessing to God.  The martyrs are people we can ask for help.  We can ask them to pray to God for us for the virtue of honesty.

It takes time to gain trust back, but when it is back it feels good.  That is why you must always tell the truth.  Honesty is only the truth and nothing but the truth.  We can always remember this by looking to Jesus.  Jesus was always truthful.  Some examples of his truthfulness are when people said he was a hypocrite.  He told them the he is not, then he told the scribes and Pharisees that they were being hypocrites when they prayed on the street, out loud for everyone to hear them.  Jesus told them that on the outside it appeared they were holy, but on the inside they were not.  The scribes and Pharisees are an example of non-honesty.  The Pharisees didn't say anything wrong, but by not saying what they believed in, they were lying. 

By not telling the whole of something, you are lying.  By not telling someone all of it, you could really hurt someone.  Even though you think you are doing nothing wrong, you actually are because it is only part of the truth, not the whole truth.  A good analogy is using a cookie.  Would you want the whole cookie or just part of the cookie?  (This works great with children.)

This is the truth, truth is honesty, and honesty is a virtue.  A virtue is a grace you can receive from God.  Even though we all try to be truthful, we have to remember that we are not always the most truthful people.  that is why we have to pray to God for that grace, because if we didn't have to ask for it we would all be perfect.  The last thing I am going to say is that I am sorry that I have lied.