Situations often arise that present the opportunity to do something that is perhaps although “legal” not necessarily appropriate. Do you ever consider the reward over the benefit to others? We have numerous references available that tell us to “Do unto others….” “To do no wrong” is a credo of many professions. We teach our children to do the right thing, to be good, to be responsible. The admonitions are everywhere around us. But, how do you react when faced with the choice for yourself?
Is deceitfulness ever acceptable if it does not violate a law or some rule? Being deceitful is a character deficiency no matter how you try to dress it up. If you have a vitamin deficiency you can pick up the latest and greatest multi-vitamin at the drugstore and fix the problem. Rationalization that any other person would do the same is not a multi-vitamin to correct this deficiency. The old excuse that “everyone else is doing it” is not the right answer. If you are a parent you have more than likely heard from a child that they did something because so-and-so was doing it. Did you buy that excuse from your child? Probably not. Will the same work for you? Probably not.
Not long ago I read of a clergyman somewhere in the United States who was harboring an illegal immigrant in his church so she would not be deported. Apparently she has given birth to a child who is by definition a United States citizen. Is he violating the laws? Probably, I am no lawyer. Is he doing the “right” thing? I don’t know. Some say yes, others say no. So, is this a case of doing the right thing but being wrong?
It has been said that character is what you are when no one else is looking. If no one else ever finds out about your “shortcut to success,” who cares? The person who should care is you. When you put yourself to bed at night you want a good nights rest. Can you rest if you have wronged someone for your own gain? Again, probably not. If you can still rest peacefully then perhaps your case of “character deficiency” is worse than you realize. May be that it is time to see the character doctor?
What do you think about yourself? As it is written in the Book of Proverbs “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7