The stillness of night had none of the clamor of the daytime, the sky was full of stars, and a breeze was blowing—as if all this was trying to help me reduce my fatigue after working. My heart began to calm down. I opened up the Bible to Proverbs 12:22, where it says, “Lying lips are abomination to Jehovah: but they that deal truly are His delight.” Yes. The people who often lie are detested and loathed by God, while those who are honest and devoid of hypocrisy in their behavior and conduct are pleasing to God.
I nodded in agreement and thought of the things that occurred during this period when I was working as a tutor …
My Mistaken Attitude Toward My Tutoring Job
It being hot, in twos and threes children walked homeward after a day of school at dusk, which was exactly the time when I as a tutor began to work. However, due to a long day’s fatigue, I always could not fully invest my energy in tutoring my student. Seeing a thick stack of his workbooks, I just wanted to catch a break. When he immersed himself in solving problem sets, I picked up my phone to browse on the Internet, relaxing myself as much as I could. Because he really had so much homework and it was too late, I just briefly told him the answers and did not explain them in detail.
The Result Produced by My Mistaken Attitude
After his final exams, when I saw that his grades on his papers were not getting any better, my face immediately went red. Flipping through the papers, I discovered that although some mistakes were made through his carelessness, nearly half of his mistakes were on me. On the one hand, I had not explained some exercise questions then but directly told him the answers; on the other hand, though I clearly knew that he had not grasped some concepts, I did not want to spend time or put effort into following up with exercises. Besides, there were many concepts which I had not spoken of. All of this was due to my laziness and irresponsibility.
Lying for My Own Benefit
Aside from my self-reproach, worry flooded my mind and I thought, “How will I explain this to the child’s parents now? After my tutoring for a semester, their child has ended up achieving such a pitiful result. No. I cannot allow them to think that it’s my fault. If they find out that I haven’t carefully taught their child, I might end up being fired. But how can I explain this to avoid taking responsibility?” I kept turning this over in my mind and an idea came to me, “If I show myself to be very helpless and angry, they probably won’t say much.” So, with the papers in hand, I found the child’s parent and pretended to be angry and worried, saying, “I’ve explained these test questions many times, and I’ve never imagined that the child would still get such low grades.” When I said this, my heart was beating fast, and I told myself, “Calm down. Calm down. It’ll be fine as long as I brace myself to get through this, and the parent will surely not think that it’s my fault.” I saw that his parent sighed and looked briefly at the papers with a grave expression. He then said simply, “He’s too careless.” Then he went to do his own things. At that point, the stone that had lain in my heart was gone, as if I escaped a disaster.
The Consequence of My Telling Lies
On my way home, I always felt a little uncomfortable. The child’s failure to get good grades was half my fault, but I lumped all the blame on him. Just then, the scene of the child’s being scolded came to the forefront of my mind from time to time and lingered there. I suddenly felt, “How could I have been so mean and shameless?” In this time when grades decided everything, what kind of harm would the poor final exam results bring to the child? Maybe he would face pressure from his parents during that summer vacation or even the next semester and the derision of his teachers and classmates. My shirking responsibility like this could only make things worse for the child and cause him to suffer from heavier pressure. At that moment, I thought of how when God asked Adam and Eve after they were tempted by Satan to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Adam shifted the responsibility onto Eve, saying, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat” (Genesis 3:12), and how Eve said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat” (Genesis 3:13). They both defied God’s words, but they made themselves entirely blameless. I took another look at myself. Originally, I had taught the child perfunctorily and inattentively and gone through the motions, with the result that his grades did not go up. But in order to keep my job as a tutor, I made myself entirely shameless. Wasn’t I telling lies to deceive others? How could my thoughts possibly escape the observation of God? Thinking this, I blamed myself.
Understanding the Importance of Being an Honest Person
Afterward, I saw the Bible say, “And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing” (Leviticus 5:5). The Lord Jesus also said, “Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). God’s words clearly require us to act as honest people, have no treachery or deception in our hearts, and be frank like little children, for only in this way can we be pleasing to God. If we can actively admit responsibility and repent and confess our sins to God after telling lies, this is also an expression of honesty and our hearts can regain peace and happiness. Thinking this, I repented and confessed to the Lord and determined to practice the truth and be an honest person in the future.
The Fruits Brought Forth by Being an Honest Person
Before too long, the child showed me his Chinese test paper with a low mark. I found that he digressed from the subject in writing, lost many marks in reading comprehension, and wrote many wrong words. I saw that I was largely responsible for this because during that period, I just focused on teaching math and English—I had not explained how to do Chinese reading comprehensions for a long time, and ordinarily in training I had him write compositions at will and then simply checked whether there were wrong words. After the lessons of my previous failure, I thought that this time I must be an honest person, being candid and taking responsibility. Then I took out my phone and solemnly sent a text message to the child’s parent: “In fact, the main reason for the child’s failure to get good grades is because I haven’t taught him well. It isn’t his fault, because I haven’t paid attention to helping him practice writing compositions nor have I dictated the words to him but just had him copy them….” I thought, “Regardless of whether the student’s parent scolds me or complains about me, I will accept it. If I am given another opportunity, in the future I will certainly put the Lord’s words into practice and act with honesty and moreover do my best to coach the student.”
When I practiced this, I felt very secure in my heart. Then his parent replied with the following message: “It isn’t your fault. Actually, you’ve paid a lot….” Seeing this, I felt very guilty. From then on, I started focusing on putting the Lord’s words into practice and being an honest person. I began to treat the child’s study seriously and responsibly and also teach him to be an honest person.
A semester later, the child’s grades improved a lot and he was no longer a poor student, after which his parents were very grateful to me and put trust in me. I thanked God so much because it was entirely God’s words that had changed me, allowing me to conduct myself honestly and reliably.
The night was still so quiet. Looking at the bright moon, I resolved in my heart that I would continue to make progress toward being honest in my life hereafter.