About a week ago, there was an article in my local newspaper that absolutely astounded me. The title is “Survey: Students cheat, steal in alarming numbers.” Evidently, a survey was taken of nearly 30,000 students at 100 random high schools. This caught my attention (because I am in high school), and I proceeded to read the article and was shocked at what I found. Here is just a piece of it:
“In the past year, 30 percent of the U.S. high school students have stolen from a store and 64 percent have cheated on a test, according to a new large-scale survey suggesting that Americans are too apathetic about ethical standards.”
As Charlie Brown would say, “Oh, good grief!” I couldn’t believe what that tiny little paragraph said! 30 percent have stolen from a store, and even more shockingly, 64 percent have cheated on a test. What is this world coming to?
It really was the last sentence of that paragraph that caught my attention ( “…suggesting that Americans are too apathetic about ethical standards.”). If you have ever read my dad’s blog, you can see that this last phrase is his whole point. My dad is trying to make people wake up and see the world through Christ’s eyes. If Jesus lived in our world today, do you think he would say we are “too apathetic about ethical standards”? I personally think he would! We as Christians should be able to stand up to the low standards, and create ones that are right in God’s eyes.
The article goes on to say things such as: “These kids have more opportunity to cheat. Their professors didn’t have the resources that they do now, so the temptation is greater.”
I don’t think that the temptation is any greater than it was twenty years ago. I think that today’s high school students are just weaker. We may have more opportunities to cheat or steal, but doesn’t 1 Corinthians 10:13 say that no temptation is too great to overcome? Doesn’t it say that God will always provide a way out?
God is not going to leave those who serve Him to fight off the evils of this world. When you are trapped by a temptation, turn to Him and He will help you do the right thing. If we do not succumb to the world’s mindset, it will not be nearly as difficult to resist temptation.
Here’s some more statistics to boggle your mind:
-- 35% of boys and 26% of girls admitted to stealing from a store within the past year.
--20% said they stole something from a friend.
--23% said they stole something from a parent or relative.
--38% said they cheated two or more times on a test.
--36% said they plagiarized an assignment from the internet.
--42% said they sometimes lie to save money.
The saddest part of the entire article is toward the end. “Despite such responses, 93% of the students said they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character, and 77% affirmed that ‘when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know.’”
If you are a high school student, do not strive to just be better than your friends. You are to work towards being like Christ. If you set a limit on how good you can be, you will never grow in your relationship with God. Don’t fool yourself; you should never be satisfied with how close you are to God. There is always room for improvement.
Choose to be different; it is not a bad thing. If you try to fit right in with everyone else, you will compromise your witness. You cannot tell people to do the right thing and then not do the right thing yourself. No one will respect your witness if you live the life of a hypocrite.
God wants you to follow His will for your life, and I can assure you that it does not include cheating or stealing. But if you have already cheated or stolen, there is always room for forgiveness.
2 years ago