Reflections on the Story of a Shepherd Boy: Be a Man of Integrity

One day, when I saw my colleague watching a cartoon about a fable, out of curiosity and also for a brief respite, I joined him. It was a story of a shepherd boy. I remembered I had read the story in my textbook when I was young, and at that time I just felt pity for the boy because his sheep were all eaten by the wolves. But this time I had a new knowledge of the story.

The story ran like this: A boy is pasturing sheep on a hill, while at the foot of the hill there are villagers doing farm work. Being bored with shepherding, he fools the villagers for fun, crying, “Wolves!” Hearing his shouts, the villagers hurriedly run to help him, only to find they are cheated. Later when the wolves really come, the boy cries for help but the villagers no longer believe him, and in the end, his sheep are all eaten by the wolves.

While watching the cartoon, I couldn’t help but reflect on whether or not I had lied as the boy did.

I remembered when I first came to the company, I had much professional knowledge to learn. To acquaint myself with the business as soon as possible, I asked one of my colleagues for help. But after consulting him several times I still couldn’t master it. When he asked me, “Have you understood it?” I lied lest he look down upon me, “Yes.” Later our leader made a spot check on our mastery of the professional knowledge and I didn’t perform well. Only then did my colleague found out that I had lied to him before. One time, later on, I worked hard on learning new knowledge and mastered it. When my colleague asked me if I had acquired it, I answered happily, “Yes.” Unexpectedly, he asked, “Really? You’re not stringing me?” At that time, I didn’t know how to answer him.
I remembered another experience. Once I was dismissed by my former company. When my relatives and friends asked me why I didn’t go to work, to save face, I said I had quit my job. Afterward, one of my relatives found out the truth. Therefore, when I told her I found a new job, she said skeptically, “Really?”

My brothers and sisters in the Lord also had the problem of lying. They told me they often lied about some things and thus when they told the truth, people didn’t buy it. I knew it was because of us telling lies that we lost others’ trust. I remembered the words of Jehovah God in the Bible: “Neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another” (Leviticus 19:11). From these words we can see that God requires us to not lie or deceive but to live out the likeness of an honest person.

The cartoon was over and I returned to my seat quietly, thinking about why we always lied involuntarily. Then I opened up the Bible on my desk and read the passage about how the serpent tempted Eve into eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan the serpent said to Eve that she wouldn’t necessarily die if she ate the fruit from that tree. It told the lie in such a sly way that Eve couldn’t discern it and thus ate the fruit. Eve then gave the fruit to Adam and he ate it, too. Since then, lying and deceiving has become a part of our life, and as we tell more and more lies, others can’t discern whether we are telling the truth or lying. At that time, I suddenly understood: Since we were corrupted by Satan, we have become crafty. We involuntarily lie and deceive for the sake of our own interests, status and vanity, with the result that others don’t believe us anymore.

Then, how to solve the problem? I saw the words of the Lord Jesus: “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Matthew 5:37). The Lord’s words are clear about this: We should speak in a practical and realistic manner without the slightest bit of pretense, and never tell lies to protect our own interests. Only by continually practicing in this way can we solve the problem of lying. Later, I read some other books, which stated that we should also bravely admit to others that we’ve told lies, and then correct them and reword them. Seeing our genuine repentance, others will approve of us and believe us again. I am willing to practice being an honest person in this way to gain the trust of others and live with dignity and character. If I continue to lie, I will take the same fall as the shepherd boy, which will be so pitiful.

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