Feb 14, 2021
TRUTH and HONESTY are not general character traits with which we can describe the Filipino in the 21st century. This is generally speaking of course.
Our society has been built on a NETWORK of FABRICATIONS. It is difficult to have dealings which will not involve some form of LYING or DISHONESTY.
Let me cite a few examples:
1. We bribe for the purpose of HIDING TRUTH and we use a euphemism for such an action calling it, “pang kape” or “regalo” or “pahalipay”.
2. We resort to the “lagay” or the “subornohay” system because we always want SHORT CUTS” and desire to be EXEMPTED from established rules.
3. We resort to the “palakasan” system because for us, being TRUTHFUL will hurt you; DISHONESTY however is rewarded.
4. If you want to do business, you have to have “grease money” which others call a representation allowance.”
This system of DISHONESTY has pervaded Philippine society, politics and the economy such that it is almost impossible to disentangle yourself from CORRUPT SYSTEMS.
Politicians have CREDIBILITY PROBLEMS and that is why NOBODY believes ANYBODY today.
We have SHADED TRUTH and EXAGGERATED it. We have made PROMISES we have NOT KEPT. Together with all this lying, we add, “CROSS MY HEART, SWEAR to God, mamatay man ko; God is witness.”
Jesus teaches us the way of INTEGRITY and HONESTY by INSTRUCTION on fulfilling of vows.
We have three lessons on how to have INTEGRITY, based on the interpretation of Old Testament vows, which can be summed up into 3 A’s:
TEXT: Matthew 5: 33 – 37
I. Abstain from Misinterpreting the Old Testament Vows – v.33
Jesus is quoting once again from the Old Testament and summarizes several Old
Testament passages: Lev 19:12, Num 30:2, Deu 23:21
II.Apply Vows Properly – vv. 34 – 36
Jesus did not want OATH-TAKING which were: LESS BINDING, meaning, you don’t have to fulfill it & hypocritical oaths which were mostly LIES.
III.Advocate Plain Truth – v. 37
Jesus commends simple truthfulness in thought, word and in deed. Our statements must be dependable. MEAN what you SAY and SAY what you MEAN.
Is there HOPE for the Philippines? The hope is found in the GOSPEL.
Hitler based his whole policy on lying and said it was the way to succeed in the world. “If you want your nation to be great, you lie about it. And the more you lie, the more likely you are to succeed.” History has proven him wrong.
In the beginning, the pre-Hispanic Filipino was honest. This is attested by the fact that during the pre-Spanish days, Chinese traders would land their goods on Philippine shore and simply leave..
A year later they would come back to the same spot to get a variety of native produce in payment for the stuff they had consigned. The payment matched the consignment, value for value.
How can we go back to those times? The ANSWER: The GOSPEL!