Slow Mover of the Heart: The Lure of the White Lie

One evening this past week, we received a phone call from the proprietor of a farmer’s market where my wife had purchased some items on her way home from a trip to Pennsylvania. He was concerned that she had not received the full dozen ears of corn that she had paid for. During the day, he had removed some ears of corn from a bag and was worried that we had been short changed.

With him on the phone, I pulled the bag from the refrigerator and counted the corn. We had 15 ears. He chuckled with relief and said, “We must have been giving an extra good measure that day.”

He was also concerned that a bag of veggie chips that my wife purchased was out of date. It was, but I assured him that it did not matter to us and after a few more pleasantries, we ended the call.

Corn, New Orleans, LA

It was a reminder to me of how important honesty is. Here was a person who was so concerned about truth in making sure that a customer received what she had purchased that he was willing to make a long distance phone call. It was a reminder to me to be honest in every little thing I do. There are so many temptations, especially in a market-driven economy; to cut corners, to lie about the hours one has worked, to download software or music peer-to-peer rather than purchase it, to not tell the whole truth or be completely upfront with people, all because I want the latest thing, more money, or a certain life style.

What doth it profit me to gain the whole world and yet forfeit my very soul?

In becoming a slow mover of the heart, it is critical that I continue to explore what it means to be a person of integrity. And that I avoid, to the best of my ability, the lure of the white lie.

September 13, 2007


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