Madison Sarratt was a mathematics professor

               at Vanderbilt university,

One day before he gave an exam

               he reminded the students of the university's honor code,

               and told them no faculty member would be present during the test.

He said, "Today I am giving two exams

               one in trigonometry and the other in honesty.

Hopefully you'll be able to pass both of them.

               If you must fail, be sure to fail trigonometry.

There are many good men who cannot pass a test in trigonometry.

               There are no good men who cannot pass a test in honesty."

When I taught 8th grade there was a unit called "psychology"

In that unit, I gave a test to 5 classes of science students.

               and graded them that night, but did not put any mark on them.

The next day, I passed them out, and had the students grade their own papers

               and call out the grade to me, as I called their names.

The 2nd day, I announced in the first class what I had done.

               I did not penalize anyone for lying or cheating.

               It was all just an experiment in honesty

Believe me, I did not have to announce it after the second class.

               Everyone knew about it when they came to class.

Several popped into the science lab

               and confessed cheating even before it was time for science class.

Others confessed to me as they entered the room

               before they say down.

And the cheating was very broad,

               although there were a number of students

               who were very honest in grading their papers.

One of the greatest resources of any people is integrity.

But more and more, in our country, and in our day,

               integrity appears to be in short supply

               and it has been getting worse and worse for decades,

               probably longer.

A story in the washington Post about shoplifting

               said shoplifting arrests in several ... stores

               jumped more than 100 percent over last year.

The Metropolitan Board of Trade survey showed that

               50% of shoplifters were under 18.

               Another 25% were housewives

                              in the 19 to 27 category.

A security director in one department store said,

               "more than 80% of the people we arrest

               have the money in their pockets

               to buy what they are stealing."

In the media attention has been given to the fact

               that it is almost a given

               that people generally lie when it is to their advantage.

One article was titled

               "The Repairman will Gyp you

                              if you dont watch out."

Believe it or not, it has been about 3 decades since

David Wise wrote his book The Politics of Lying,

               in which he said,

"This erosion of confidence between people and government

               is perhaps the single most significant

               political development in America in the last decade.

He went on, "The american President today operates

               within a new political framework. 

               He can no longer assume that

               the majority of the people will believe him."

A 1971 university of Michigan survey showed that

in a 6-year period beginning in 1964

               the American people had steadily

               lost confidence in the government,

and that was 10 years before Nixon resigned

               at the end of the Watergate scandal in 1974.

Before 1964, public confidence in government

               was consistently high.

A 1970 survey of 1721 people found that

already 19% of people did not believe

               the most widely publicized event

                              the government had ever undertaken:

               Namely that US astronauts

                              had been to the moon and back.

For decades now, there has been concern on college campuses

about the growth of businesses

that specialize in producing term papers

and even college graduate program theses

and selling them to thousands of students to cheat with them.

Some years ago, (9/3/73) a Time Magazine article

told about a soapbox derby winner who was disqualified

for cheating in the construction of his racer

               and his cheating did result in him winning the race.

He not only lost his first place trophy

               but a $7,500 scholarship.

It was the first time in the history of the Soap Box Derby

               that had ever happened.

Aristophanes, who died almost 400 years BCWrote 

"No man is really honest,

               none of us is above the influence of gain."

Diogenes was a Greek philosopher and cynic

               who lived about the same time

It's said he went about holding a lit lantern in broad daylight

               saying he was looking for an honest man.

It appears to be getting harder and harder

to prove that Aristophanes and Diogenes were wrong.

Honesty & Integrity need to be taught in our homes, schools, & nation

Webster says honesty

is that which is honorable

characterized by integrity and straightforwardness in conduct,

in thought and in speech

Of Integrity, Webster says

Soundness of moral principle and character

complete honesty and uprightness

with not masking of intentions.

It's opposite is hypocrisy

Integrity demands that a person put on no false front,

that he wear no artificial mask,

that he play no deceptive role.

Integrity rules out lying, stealing, cheating,

and every form of deception.

It is a term that describes one of the deepest

               and most important qualities

               of the worthy life.

The Bible gives several examples when integrity was lacking

Think about Jacob and his mother

               who deceived Jacob's nearly blind father Isaac,

               and stole his father's blessing that he was reserving

               for Jacob's brother Esau.

Jacob lied to his father in both words and actions

               pretending to be Esau

Years later, Jacob reaped the rewards of his own deception

His older sons took and sold

               his youngest son Joseph as a slave.

They fooled their father into thinking

               Joseph had been killed by a wild beast.

They found themselves in the awkward postion

               of trying to comfort their grieving father

               at the same time they were trying to cover up their lie to their father.

Jacob morned for Joseph for about 20 years

               before he ever came to realize the deception he suffered.

Jacob had earlier deceived his father Isaac

               by wearing his brothers clothes

               to make his father think he was actually his brother.

Jacob was later fooled by his older sons

               who dipped Joseph's coat in goat's blood.

Gal 6:7  Paul wrote

7 Do not be deceived,

God is not mocked;

for whatever a man sows,

this he will also reap.

Matt 7:2  Jesus

 the measure you give will be the measure you get.

The Bible has a lot to say about integrity

Prov 19:1

1 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity

Than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool.

Prov 20:7

7 A righteous man who walks in his integrity—

How blessed are his sons after him.

Deut 16:19-20