Honesty – Technically True
00Key Bible Verse: Our responsibility is never to oppose the truth, but to stand for the truth at all times. – 2 Corinthians 13:8
Bonus Reading: Jeremiah 17:9-10
During graduate school, I managed a center that offered tutoring to students preparing to take standardized exams. Part of my job was to promote our program. The best promotion was to showcase the improved test scores of our clients—improvements we could demonstrate.
Most of our students showed a significant gain on the SAT—an average of 120 points among those whose scores improved. However, a few students actually received lower scores!
If my promotional material spoke of the average improvement, rather than the average overall change, I could eliminate the scores of the students who didn’t improve. However, if I took them into account, the average student improved by only 90 points.
I faced a dilemma. If I spoke of average improvement, I was putting a deceptive spin on the truth. I’m sad to say that I failed to renounce the trickery of this world. I stated the literal truth—”the average improvement after taking our class is 120 points”—in a way that led people to believe that the average student increased his or her score by that margin.
Our promotional literature escaped an outright lie, but it didn’t tell the complete truth.
—Mark Roberts in the Dare to Be True
My Response: From what deceptive spin do I need to distance myself?
Adapted from Dare to Be True (WaterBrook, 2003)