In a world of sliding values, honesty doesn’t seem necessary. Or is it?

The World Bank estimates that governments and businesses pay at least one trillion dollars in bribes annually. Most see this as “the cost of doing business.”

Two researchers, Dan Ariely and Ximena Garcia-Rada looked at the effects. They wrote in Scientific American:

Unless preventive measures are taken, dishonesty can spread stealthily and uninvited from person to person like a disease, eroding social norms and ethics—and once a culture of cheating and lying becomes entrenched, it can be difficult to dislodge.

We talk about the flu and things like the coronavirus, but dishonesty proves disastrous. When you destroy trust through dishonesty, all relationships become subject.

In a crossed-finger world, we must heed the instruction of Jesus:

“All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37)

If your word is not good enough, your character is suspect as well. Clean up your life. Make honesty a hallmark of speech and business dealings.

It might stop an epidemic.

-Robert G. Taylor-