Intellectual Honesty : Part 3

This semester we have been talking about intellectual character and its virtues. Intellectual character involves the thought process behind every decision we make. We began with talking about intellectual courage. Intellectual courage helps you to find the truth and live out that truth. This week we continue our look at intellectual virtues and intellectual honesty.

Intellectual honesty involves how we use the truth we know. It is the link that goes from our thinking to our actions.  Last week I spoke on what intellectual honesty looks like. It looks like a penny. Do you remember how Abraham Lincoln didn’t lie or steal, and he even repaid someone a few cents?  And now he is on the penny!

This week I want to talk about… candy.  But first, let me explain that intellectual honesty is about always searching for truth. Honesty guides us to the real truth. Sometimes we can see and find truth, but not allow the truth to affect our lives.

So let’s get back to candy. Did anyone receive a heart shaped box full of chocolates yesterday for Valentine’s Day? Did you know that if you eat three of those chocolates that are really small, it adds up to about the amount of calories in a 6-inch sandwich from Subway? So, think about it when you’re hungry. You can either eat a whole big sandwich or just three small chocolates. The chocolates have a lot of sugar that are not good for our teeth. The sandwich has vegetables that are good for you, for your body and health. If you had a choice between the chocolates and a sandwich, which would you choose?

What if you liked chocolates? What if you didn’t like vegetables on your sandwich? Which would you choose? Which should you choose?

Some of us would say, “I don’t care about the truth that the chocolates are not healthy, and that a sandwich with vegetables is healthy. I’m still choosing chocolates.” Some of us would come up with facts to try and make the chocolates seem healthier by saying, “Did you know chocolates have calcium in them so basically I’m just eating my vitamins?” But, the truth is there is still more calcium in sandwiches than chocolates! Intellectual honesty searches for the truth and uses the truth to make decisions that are smart and right. Intellectual honesty says that eating a sandwich with vegetables is better than eating three pieces of chocolate, and so I will eat the sandwich and vegetables because it is better for me.

Psalms 25:5 says,

“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”

There is truth out there in this world and we are to learn it from God. We need to ask God to teach us truth and help us to live by the truth in our lives every day. As we start to learn the truth and live by the truth, we start to focus our hope on God because He is teaching us the truth and helping us live that truth out in our lives. Today let our prayer be a cry to God to help us find the truth and the courage to live out the truth, and the proper way to live. We show that we know truth by what we do in the classroom, by what we do at our houses, and especially by what we do when no one is looking.

Let us put our hope in God that the truth will set us free to worship him, to love him, and to love others. Because ultimately, if we don’t live by truth and with honesty, we’re just going to eat all the chocolates and live a life with hurt stomachs and broken hearts.