Beloved Volkswagen/Audi has allegedly been falsifying its emissions output on diesel vehicles by installing software to trick regulatory measures. Now the company is under criminal investigation, facing tumbling share prices, a broken consumer reputation, and a meager $18 billion fine. Ouch. I’m thinking there will be some shuffling around at the management level and some executives will be dusting off their old resumes.
In even more dramatic fashion, Stewart Parnell and his brother, Michael, are now facing 20+ year prison sentences. Their company, Peanut Corporation of America, was once a $25 million profit creating enterprise and is now dissolved after they knowingly shipped Salmonella contaminated product. Nine people died and another 714 were critically poisoned (half of them children). Stewart had decided to create fake lab reports to secure FDA approval for the batches he shipped.
I look at these guys and think, these are Class A Jerks! Their self-centered actions caused the deaths of moms and dads, brothers and sisters. Or in the case of the automaker, untold damage on the environment and just plain credibility shattering lies. Let’s all get it out of our system for a moment and shake our fists. Justice will be served for these folks, even if it comes almost a decade late.
Let’s go old school together. Seems like basic character training, but the older I get the more scandals and news stories and celebrity meltdowns and affairs and work related cover-ups I encounter, I think we need a recalibration.
Psalm 34:13 keep your lips from telling lies.
Deceit is not something that only big executives wrestle with. This is back to the basics for you and for me. See, these executives thought in their twisted minds they were probably doing the right thing. They didn’t want to look foolish, they didn’t want share prices to tumble, and they didn’t want to pay the price the truth would require.
The truth will always cost you something. It is expensive. It could cost you a friend. It could cost you hundreds or thousands (or millions) of dollars. It could cost you time where you have to go back and redo work. It could cost you comfort as you have to do the uncomfortable thing.
This is for you and for me. Choose truth, even when it costs you. The truth is expensive but deceit will bankrupt you. If not your wallet, deceit in any form will empty you of character, friendships, and the person God created you to be. Take a moment today if you need to recalibrate, “I will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God…”
And if you are reminded of some deceit in your life, recent or distant, go and make it right, today, in the name of God and with God’s help. Even He can overcome the gripping power of deceit. He died for that.