Integrity is a very desirable and admired quality. At least when we’re on the receiving end of the behavior or speech that determines any given outcome. When we’re communicating with someone we usually hope that they will be honest with us – even if we have every intention of being dishonest with them. Sometimes the dishonesty shows up in the form of outright lies that contain no element of truth while in many cases the dishonesty shows up as deceit. For many people, deceit is the preferred form of dishonesty since it’s easier for them to ease their consciences by rationalizing that they’re not telling an outright lie.

I entitled this “The ‘Beauty’ of Deception” due to the inlclination of many to view deception as appealing and as something to embrace when it’s being employed by them or by some of their close associates who use deception to gain unfair advantages or to trouble others even when the “trouble” is not obvious to the person(s) they’re deceiving. As we know, deception is an equal opportunity tool that is used by people who are religious as well as those who are not. By men and womren, boys and girls. Every race has plenty of people who embrace deception as a social tool even when they portray themselves not only as being religious but as people who closely adhere to the righteous principles of God.

They see any number of advantages to employing deception. Rather than tell one’s spouse that an after-hours business meeting is being held for the purpose of discussing business and pursuing an adulterous affair, the spouse is only told about the business aspect. The teenager uses the car to go to school and to visit a friend (girlfriend/boyfriend) but only tells the parents about school. Getting paid for (deceitful) services rendered, being accepted by “important” people and more are all reasons that deception is used by so many.

One of the intriguing realities of this lifestyle is that many of the people who engage in this unsavory practice also seem to enjoy maintaining that “what goes around comes around,” and “you reap what you sow.” Do they really believe these statements? Do they presume that these pirnciples apply to everyone except them and their close associates?

An interesting truth about life is that often that which is perceived as beautiful, appealing, good, a must-have is the very thing that can come back to haunt the one who embraces it. Human nature, namely pride, enables many to consider themselves invincible, capable of escaping the consequences of bad behavior.

Here’s true beauty. Realizing that there are consequences for bad behaviors and we all pay the price in one way or others, whether we feel the impact of the consequences during the temporal stage of life or in the eternal stage or both. During the temporal stage we may be able to buffer some of the impact by convincing ourselves (deceptively) that we’re not paying a price for our wrong-doing. During the eternal stage of life, after we will have come face-to-face with the Creator as Judge and He confronts us with our wrong, there will be no buffers. Only the full impact of consequences for having embraced and employed that which made life so ugly no matter how much we may have convinced ourselves of its false beauty. The beauty of this? Just as deception can be used by anyone who chooses to embrace it, consequences come to everyone of its users without partiality.

Even more beautiful? Practicing a lifestyle that employs honesty and integrity more and more as we strive to do right by all of mankind as we move closer and closer to the eternal stage of life and prepare to face it without fear.