I was 18 years of age and in court for the first time in my life. I had been a passenger in a car involved in a serious accident and had been subpoenaed to testify on behalf of the driver.
I was not prepared for what ensued. I assumed that everyone involved would keep their pledge “to tell the truth,” but I quickly learned that such was not the case.
In his opening remarks, the attorney for the defendant, a known alcoholic who had obviously been intoxicated the night of the accident, described his client as the innocent victim in the incident. I was outraged and could hardly wait to sit in the witness stand and let the jury know what really happened!
When I did get my chance to speak, I discovered that I was not free to “tell the truth.” When I attempted to do so, I was rudely told by the attorney to “answer my question!” When I protested that I was not being allowed to relate what I had personally “witnessed,” the presiding judge reprimanded me for attempting to simply, clearly and honestly tell exactly what I had personally seen and was convinced was totally factual.
To my dismay, I discovered that no one was actually interested in hearing the “truth.” What everyone involved primarily seemed interested in was what they would personally gain or lose.
I was appalled to read the results of a poll taken a few years ago and published in USA Today that stated that “the typical American lies . . . at the drop of a hat . . . as a way of life . . . about almost anything!”
The article was based on information from the best-selling book at that time, “The Day America Told the Truth.” The authors claimed research evidence that 91 percent of Americans admitted that they lied routinely.
What about us?
May God help us to always “tell the truth in love” in order that we may live our lives in a manner pleasing to Him as an example of integrity to others.