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Dishonesty On Display in 2012

Lies Conscience Hardness of Heart

Source: "Dishonesty was on display everywhere in 2012" by Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY, 12/26/12

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-12-28

Scripture: Ephesians 4:19

Author: Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY
6

ILLUSTRATION

Dishonesty was on display in a big way in 2012:

Cheating is nothing new. But the steady stream of famous faces and institutions that got caught up in it this year seems unprecedented — 2012 may well have been the Year of the Cheater.

Lance Armstrong. David Petraeus. Goldman Sachs. Harvard University. The Air Force Academy. Olympic athletes. From doping in sports to cooking the books, test-taking schemes and extramarital affairs, the list of very public examples goes on and on. And Americans hardly even seem shocked anymore. ...That "has a snowball effect," he adds. "It legitimizes further dishonest behavior." ...

The scandals of the past year illustrate a clear change in how we view misconduct. Those who study cheating say a confluence of factors has led to it becoming more pervasive and more socially acceptable: Technology makes it easier to cheat, and an increasingly competitive social environment — from grade school through college and into the workplace — makes us feel more pressure to do so. Increased exposure to cheating, either through news reports or personal knowledge, makes it seem as if everyone is doing it, say behavioral researchers. ...

"As we see things happening around us that give us a sense that other people are dishonest, it is easier for us to be dishonest as well," says Ariely, author of The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone — Especially Ourselves. ... "People have redefined what constitutes cheating in line with the technologies available now," says McCabe, co-author of Cheating in College: Why Students Do It and What Educators Can Do about It. ... And people can adjust their moral compasses to fit their unethical behavior, says Lisa Shu, a visiting assistant professor of management and organizations at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. ...

"If everyone is doing it, it's then seen as what you do, and there is no big issue of morality," says Albert Bandura, a professor emeritus of psychology at Stanford University in CA. "It gets at the root of why good people are doing it and not feeling bad about it."

APPLICATION

With each passing year (nay, each passing day!), we are becoming increasingly more desensitized to all manner of immorality. We have grown thick calluses on our individual and collective conscience, turning a deaf ear and a hardened heart toward the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Physical calluses are a good thing. They are the body's mechanism for protecting us from something that would otherwise rub us the wrong way. Spiritual calluses, however, work in just the opposite way--instead of protecting us, they rob us of the sensation of what should rub us the wrong way, effectively blocking us from the conviction of sin. This loss of conviction explains "why good people are doing it and not feeling bad about it."

If 2012 was The Year of the Cheater, let's resolve to make 2013 The Year of Conscience, filing away the calluses which have hardened our hearts, and committing ourselves to being sensitive to the rubbing of the Holy Spirit.

"Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more" (Ephesians 4:19).

Illustration Exchange

Your Sin Will Find You Out

Conscience God's Judgment Murder

Source: Norwich Bulletin, Norwich, CT 01/08/84

Contributed By: David Hamburg | Date Posted: 2013-04-19

Scripture: Numbers 32:23 ; Proverbs 20:27

Author: David Hamburg
3

ILLUSTRATION

"A man in Chester, England fought with his estranged wife and killed her because she threatened to expose his homosexuality unless he gave her more money, something he said he could not afford to do. He hid her body on the edge of a peat bog.

Twenty-two years later when he heard that some peat diggers unearthed a skull he assumed it was hers so he confessed. Tests showed that the skull was 1,600 years old, that of a woman who died before the Romans left Britain.  The authorities have not been able to find any of the remains of his wife.  Now he faces murder charges."

APPLICATION

Although this man imagined that he had covered up his crime, his conscience was still active.  God's justice may move slowly, but it is always sure, in this life or in the life to come.

They Don't Even Know How to Blush

Shame Conscience Hardness of Heart

Source: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE by Richard Swenson, p. 81

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-01-14

Scripture: Jeremiah 8:12

Author: Richard Swenson
3

ILLUSTRATION

"Blood flow to the skin can vary tremendously--in some areas by a factor of 150 times. This is important for the crucial temperature control of the body but also plays a role in social blushing. Blushing is a function of dramatically increased blood flow to the skin surface, most notably of the face. It is involuntary and for those so prone, it cannot be controlled. Humans are the only creatures that have this capacity."

Richard A. Swenson, MD, is a medical doctor and award winning author of several acclaimed books. He travels extensively, speaking to a variety of business, denominational and government groups on issues of faith and reason, stress, complexity, social change, and management.

APPLICATION

"Jeremiah, however," observes Swenson, "talked about a sinfulness so deep that 'they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.'"

Humans are the only creatures who can blush, and conversely they are the only creatures who can suppress their conscience--sometimes so completely that they no longer even feel shame for their disobedience and sin.

"Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when they are punished, says the LORD" (Jeremiah 8:12).

A Sacrifice of Superbowl Proportions

Jesus' Sacrifice Gratitude Conscience

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2012-01-30

Scripture: Hebrews 12:2

Author: Barnett Gushin
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Divorce by Intuition

Divorce Relativism Conscience

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-11-07

Scripture: Judges 17:6

Author: Illustration Exchange
2

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The Applause of Conscience

Integrity Conscience Self-examination

Contributed By: Nathan McConnell | Date Posted: 2011-09-17

Scripture: Psalms 26:

Author: Nathan McConnell
3

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Don't Shoot Me!

Conscience Guilt Repentance

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-09-03

Scripture: Luke 15:7

Author: Illustration Exchange
10

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A Wasp Cut In Half

Conscience Meaning of Life Narcissism

Contributed By: Fred Gates | Date Posted: 2011-08-02

Scripture: Mark 8:36

Author: George Orwell
2

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Why We Are Lost

Salvation Excuses Conscience

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-04-04

Scripture: Romans 1:18

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Dulling Our Conscience

Conscience Excuses Justification (Self)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-01-27

Scripture: 1 Timothy 1:5 ; Proverbs 14:8

Author: Jerry White
1

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