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Child Guidance

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    Chapter 29—Honesty and Integrity

    Honesty to Be Practiced and Taught—It is essential that honesty be practiced in all the details of the mother's life, and it is important in the training of children to teach the youthful girls as well as boys never to prevaricate or to deceive in the least.1Letter 41, 1888.CG 152.1

    The Standard God Requires—God wants men in His service, under His banner, to be strictly honest, unimpeachable in character, that their tongues shall not utter a semblance of untruth. The tongue must be true, the eyes must be true, the actions wholly and entirely such as God can commend. We are living in the sight of a holy God, who solemnly declares, “I know thy works.” The divine eye is ever upon us. We cannot cover one act of unjust deal from God. The witness of God to our every action is a truth which but few realize.2Letter 41, 1888.CG 152.2

    Those who realize their dependence upon God will feel that they must be honest with their fellow men, and, above all, they must be honest with God, from whom come all the blessings of life. The evasion of the positive commands of God concerning tithes and offerings is registered in the books of heaven as robbery toward Him.3Counsels on Stewardship, 77.CG 152.3

    Honest Weights and Measures—An honest man, according to Christ's measurement, is one who will manifest unbending integrity. Deceitful weights and false balances, with which many seek to advance their interests in the world, are abomination in the sight of God.... Firm integrity shines forth as gold amid the dross and rubbish of the world. Deceit, falsehood, and unfaithfulness may be glossed over and hidden from the eyes of man, but not from the eyes of God. The angels of God, who watch the development of character and weigh moral worth, record in the books of heaven these minor transactions which reveal character.4Testimonies For The Church 4:310.CG 152.4

    Honest With Time and Money—Men are wanted whose sense of justice, even in the smallest matters, will not allow them to make an entry of their time that is not minute and correct—men who will realize that they are handling means that belong to God, and who would not unjustly appropriate one cent to their own use; men who will be just as faithful and exact, careful and diligent, in their labor, in the absence of their employer as in his presence, proving by their faithfulness that they are not merely men-pleasers, eyeservants, but are conscientious, faithful, true workmen, doing right, not for human praise, but because they love and choose the right from a high sense of their obligation to God.5Testimonies For The Church 3:25.CG 153.1

    Just What He Wants Others to Think He Is—In every business transaction a Christian will be just what he wants his brethren to think he is. His course of action is guided by underlying principles. He does not scheme; therefore he has nothing to conceal, nothing to gloss over. He may be criticized, he may be tested, but his unbending integrity will shine forth like pure gold. He is a blessing to all connected with him, for his word is trustworthy. He is a man who will not take advantage of his neighbor. He is a friend and benefactor to all, and his fellow men put confidence in his counsel.... A truly honest man will never take advantage of weakness and incompetency in order to fill his own purse.6Letter 3, 1878.CG 153.2

    Allow No Deviation From Rigid Honesty—In every business transaction be rigidly honest. However tempted, never deceive or prevaricate in the least matter. At times a natural impulse may bring temptation to diverge from the straightforward path of honesty, but do not vary one hairsbreadth. If in any matter you make a statement as to what you will do, and afterward find that you have favored others to your own loss, do not vary a hairsbreadth from principle. Carry out your agreement. By seeking to change your plans you would show that you could not be depended on. And should you draw back in little transactions, you would draw back in larger ones. Under such circumstances some are tempted to deceive, saying, I was not understood. My words have been taken to mean more than I intended. The fact is, they meant just what they said, but lost the good impulse, and then wanted to draw back from their agreement, lest it prove a loss to them. The Lord requires us to do justice, to love mercy, and truth, and righteousness.7Letter 103, 1900.CG 154.1

    Maintain Strict Principles—In all the details of life the strictest principles of honesty are to be maintained.... Deviation from perfect fairness in business deal may appear as a small thing in the estimation of some, but our Saviour did not thus regard it. His words on this point are plain and explicit: “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” A man who will overreach his neighbor on a small scale will overreach in a larger scale if the temptation is brought to bear upon him. A false representation in a small matter is as much dishonesty in the sight of God as falsity in a larger matter.8Letter 3, 1878.CG 154.2

    Honesty should stamp every action of our lives. Heavenly angels examine the work that is put into our hands; and where there has been a departure from the principles of truth, “wanting” is written in the records.9Counsels on Stewardship, 142.CG 154.3

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