In the Old Testament, God included honesty in his commandments. In the New Testament, we learn that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life.
Because we believe in God and follow the example of Christ, we are called to value truthfulness and be honest people. We are also called to refrain from telling lies, including those we consider minor and call “white lies,” as they are an insult to God. Moreover, they separate anyone from Him and compromise one’s faith.
As parents, you naturally want to train your child to tell the truth and value honesty. You also want them to understand that cheating, lying, sneaking, covering up, or stealing are undesirable, regardless of circumstances. However, it can be quite challenging to approach this topic without scaring your child.
To help them understand that God values truthfulness and encourage them to practice honesty, here are three Bible stories you can use.
1. Abraham and the King (Genesis 20:1-18)
Your children may remember Abraham as the obedient man that God considered His friend and promised to take care of.
In this story, however, Abraham decided to act on his own instead of relying on God. When he and his family came to a place governed by a king, he told his wife Sarah to lie to the king and say that she was his sister. Sarah was very beautiful, so Abraham was afraid that the king would do something to them if he learned this.
The king believed this and invited Sarah to live in the palace. However, people started getting sick. God spoke to the king through a dream and told him that he would die because Sarah was married to Abraham.
This is a great lesson you can use to remind your child that even though they are afraid, it is still best to say what is true.
2. Truthfulness Saves Lives (Proverbs 14:25)
“A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful.”
While this is not a story like the first and last number in this list, you can use this short proverb to teach your child about the importance of being honest.
As you read this proverb with your kids, ask them how they understood this verse. Moreover, encourage them to think of an example wherein a “truthful witness” saved lives. This simple exercise can help them appreciate honesty deeper and understand the consequences of lying.
3. Zacchaeus the Tax Collector (Luke 19:1-10)
Your child probably remembers Zacchaeus best as the little man who climbed up a sycamore tree to see Jesus in the sea of people. His story actually teaches a great and inspiring lesson about honesty after meeting Jesus.
Zacchaeus was a rich tax collector. However, he is known to be a dishonest man who cheats to keep some of the tax money he collects for himself. After he had climbed up a tree to see Jesus, He saw him, commanded him to go down, and visited his house.
This is the part where it gets interesting. At his own home, Zacchaeus told Jesus that he would give half of his goods to the poor. Additionally, he said that he would return anything that he has taken from anyone by cheating by four times.
He made a mistake, but he saw the error of his ways. He had a total change of heart and got rid of his dishonest ways to follow Jesus.
These Bible stories are interesting tales that you can use to help your children understand honesty at a young age. Truthfulness may seem like an overwhelming topic, but children can also grasp concepts young as they are. Rather than delaying this topic until you feel that they are “mature” enough, it’s best to get started early. Ultimately, use Bible characters to instill in them this essential trait while grounding them in God’s word. Enroll your child at the St. Aloysius School in New York for an education that hones them to be God-fearing and truthful individuals. We also offer Montessori Pre-Kindergarten Program to support early childhood development. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our institution.