brown wooden blocks on white table

Why Bother With Integrity?

I believe we are born to tell the truth and to trust others to tell us the truth. It is only when we experience our first lie; whether in the telling or in the receiving, that the doorway of fabrication opens to us. Then, we discover a whole new world called lying and we may be attracted to it or repulsed by it.  


The first lie I told was during my first confession. It was not a premeditated lie. I was caught off guard and needed an immediate sin to confess. I knelt inside the confessional, saying the scripted words that I’d learned, “Bless me father, for I have sinned, this is my first confession and these are my sins.” 

But, I could not think of any sins. Silently, I went down the list of ten commandments, at least the ones I could remember, and knew that I was too young to commit adultery, but not too young to lie. So, I confessed to the priest, “I lied to my mom and got mad at my brother.” 

My words were within reason, although not truthful. If I’d been truthful, I would have asked the priest; please sir, tell me what sin means and then maybe I can come up with something truthful. But at the age of eight, I’d not yet found my voice with religious men. It was easier to just tell a lie.

I was given my penance and forgiven for my fictitious sins. I felt ashamed that I’d lied about my sins and hoped the penance I’d been given would also cover the real sin of lying, which I’d committed while confessing my sin.

The first lie that someone told to me came from my mother. In breaking the news of my father’s death, I knew that her statement,“His heart just stopped,” was a lie. I could tell it was a falsehood because it was not reasonable. Even at thirteen, I knew that someone’s heart does not stop without a reason. From that point on, I no longer trusted my mother’s words and was repulsed whenever anyone attempted to deceive me. 

The experience of telling a lie and the experience of being told a lie, perhaps is what I needed. From henceforth, every time I lied, I felt true guilt and when someone lied to me, I lost trust in them. 

Lying, whether to ourselves or to another creates a sticky web of falsehoods and untruths. If we don’t nip our lies in the bud, then lying becomes a regular way of thinking. Without considering our lies, to be lies, then they become our truths.

Why bother with integrity? If we are not living upright, morally, and honestly we will feel tension around those who are living upright, morally and honestly. But, if we are living upright, morally, and honestly, we will be at ease no matter who we stand next to. 



Leave a Comment

New Release

A heart's journey to forgiveness book by Terese Luikens