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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Cheating

Updated on September 3, 2017
Ericdierker profile image

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

A Road More Travelled

It is quite funny actually "the Road Less Traveled", is so romantic and nature wise. Sorry that is BS in nature you do not go stomping around killing plants, you stay on the path most traveled.
It is quite funny actually "the Road Less Traveled", is so romantic and nature wise. Sorry that is BS in nature you do not go stomping around killing plants, you stay on the path most traveled. | Source

Oh The Ways We Can Cheat

Little lies and big lies. Cheating is a verb or adjective or noun. “A Cheat” Obfuscation, concealment, trick, Sub Rosa, false witness, embezzlement, fraud, larceny, robbery and burglary. Those are not bad words but what they describe is scary.

Sub Rosa or sub rosa are both acceptable. It means “under the rose”. Please just for fun look it up on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sub_rosa It is like the codes of the all those ancient societies.

Embezzlement is stealing when you have the right to possess but it is not yours. Larceny is the act of taking away something you never had possession of.

Robbery is like mugging someone, while burglary is trespass with intent to commit a crime kind of. Think of TV and breaking and entering. (B&E)

Obfuscation and concealment seem nearly the same but the nuance in obfuscate is its Latin roots. Dark Brown? Maybe it is like “a thinly veiled deception”.

Fraud is interesting. It is a deception geared toward getting something you have no right. It is interesting that law enforcement and courts handle fraud differently based on how it was done. And who it was done to. Defraud someone over 70 and you are in a world of hurt. Do it over the internet you are in the realm of interstate federal FBI type stuff and you do not want to go there. Phone solicitation fraud. And conspiracy to commit fraud is real easy to prove.

How about the false witness stuff that I think we liken to perjury. But it is biblical. Back in those days if two men swore another did a bad act that was proof enough to stone them to death. Eye witnesses are horribly unreliable. And the worst of all is like a 4-5 year old.

I like the concept of trick. Ha ha I tricked you!

I wonder what compelled me to label this sermon cheating when we have all those other great words. Probably because covers most all of the above in some way. It is a very cultural in sub societal groups. The French word for it is Tricheur which sounds cool. Here is a strange one. We are not born with the notion of cheating. That is introduced to us through family and society. My seven year old just now asked about it. I think someone in second grade got caught doing it. In our circle of people I really cannot think of anyone that cheats. Oh well nobody should live in a bubble.

You See It Is The Heart of The Cheater That Is Most Broken

At Least Not A Snake In The Grass

Deceit is so damaging
Deceit is so damaging | Source

Which Wolf Do You Feed?

One of my most interesting thoughts or areas of investigation is cheating God. I think most Christians would jump right on and say that the following was cheating God. Not going to church, Not consistently Praying, Not reading your Bible. And I suppose we could call sin as something that is cheating God. That is why I put big lies and little lies first.

But that to me is not cheating God. There is one way to cheat God. It is pretty straight forward and goes like this; “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

And if you believe as I do that God is made manifest through love and God is love then you cheat God if you do not love. My most mature thought on this is “cheater, cheater pumpkin eater had a cow but could not eat her” Yes I am fully aware that it makes no sense. Maybe I should stop while I am behind.

Now it is my belief based on a whole lot of study of comparative religions and sects that all religions hold this truth to be self-evident for at least a portion of their faith.

Here is a basic Islamic tenant "None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself." I like that one.

A cornerstone for Buddhism is summarized by this; “Love our whole world as a mother loves her only son” (you can change “our” to “the” which I think is missing the concept of us all being connected through love.

I cannot vouch for this as authentic but I heard first from one of my friend’s dad. I seem to remember him as a Navajo and I think this is more Cherokee speaking or our two sides/wolves; “One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too.

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, which wolf will win?

The old Cherokee simply replied, The one you feed.”

Loving Life Rather Than Cheating It.

Having children is wasted on the youth ;-)
Having children is wasted on the youth ;-) | Source

I Cannot Answer This Question For Me

Carpe Diem! Seize The Day!

It is said that the Eskimo peoples have 100 words for snow meaning there are 100 different snows. It is said that there are 100 types of love. Yet in English we use one and change the meaning with another word used to describe the love more clearly. “He is a horse lover” “that is only puppy love” “he only knew love as lust”. I find that interesting first because of the contextual linguistics/semantics and secondly it gives us direction to a view of love that is universal.

I would think that the word cheating is most used to describe three types; 1. Taxes 2. School Tests and 3. Marriage infidelity.

We all get “white lie” and a “whopping big lie” and that they only are different by degrees. Which reminds us that we have “fudging” and “cheating” which are only different by degrees.

I am not sure but I think that if I watched the media and movies I would kind of get the notion that all three of the above are normal. If caught it is regretful but if not just a small guilty feeling. Except for one little thing; it is contrary to love and our connection with others and our God. Before I can sleep with my wife I must be able to sleep with me.

Cheating. It would seem that whenever we cheat we really cheat ourselves. No matter the outcome of cheating and its effect on others it is not a “victimless” crime. We are the victims when we cheat on how much love to give.

Here is a kind of crazy prayer that I am sure was the first of anything that I memorized.

Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord my soul to keep,

If I should die before I wake,

I pray the Lord my soul to take

Now that prayer is not appropriate and scary for a four year old – at least that is what we immediately think and cheat ourselves about. When we jump to the outrageous obvious we cheat our brains from the chance to learn. In truth, I love that prayer. It reminded me every night that “big deal if we leave this life, we still get to live with Jesus”.

Every situation gives us the opportunity to show our love of our fellows and God. Please please do not cheat yourself out of them. Think of the love in Houston. And realize you do not need a catastrophe to take an opportunity.

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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      With Love I fully get what you are saying.

      I kind of like Loki. A trickster. My young son and I ran into a Coyote just last week, to us Southwestern Americans he is of the Navajo lore the trickster. But it is the Javelena that causes more harm.

      All is good here in the land of crazy Vortexes. (The White tail Deer was epic to track and find)

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      I think you're right, those things you listed as 'people thinking they're cheating God' by not doing them are wrong! We don't cheat God, he knows the state of our hearts, and he can't be cheated that way.

      One slightly off the subject, but maybe interesting fact. Do you know what the phrase 'You're in luck' actually means?

      Apparently it goes back to the Vikings and the Norse religions.

      They had a 'god' called 'Loki' the trickster 'god' and to be 'in Loki' meant to be in league with him (deceiving people) and that's where it comes from.

      It was basically an accusation that someone got something by deceit, or trickery!

      Can we 'cheat God', no I don't think we can, but we 'cheat ourselves' all the time, and like you said, it's when we're not following the two commands Jesus gave!

      Great read.

      By the way, as a Bus driver, I see people trying to 'cheat the system' all the time, when they're getting on the bus and trying to get out of paying for a ticket! (you'd be amazed at how many in a day try this!)

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Larry, you just reminded me that I cheated my wife yesterday. I used the word "fine" when she asked me how I was feeling. She has a right to know my feelings. Blocking her out is depriving her of her right. (truth be told she probably would not have listened anyway - cheating me ;-)

    • Larry Fish profile image

      Larry W Fish 

      12 months ago from Raleigh

      Another great read, Eric. Many people think that cheating on a test is the extent of cheating, but it goes well past that. Yes cheating on your taxes, cheating on your spouse are the obvious. Many people don't think that taking that pack of staples home from work, or that hand full of paper that the company won't miss, but it is cheating. I think many of us are guilty of that. I know I have in my many years of working. It is not just the obvious things that we relate to cheating, but those little things as well. Thanks for setting the record straight on how we should look at cheating.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      12 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

      Excellent message, Eric. I like the two wolves concept. We have a choice about which one to feed. Great photo of you and your son. Love it.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Linda. It is true that I may not sleep as much as when I was in my twenties but after avoiding such negative behaviors I sure sleep better.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, wonderful words on which to ponder and grow by. Perhaps the worst part of cheating is what it does to you, the cheater. No one else may ever know what you did, but YOU know in your heart and soul. Knowing what you have done, can you ever love yourself again?

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Paul, I did last night. Actually funny. I treated my wife with less than love in my heart. When I went to apologize before sleep she looked at me and said "what are you talking about?". She did not even notice my cheating ways, but it bugged the heck out of me.

    • Paul K Francis profile image

      Paul K Francis 

      12 months ago from east coast,USA

      Great stuff, Eric. We are only cheating ourselves when we do not love.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora thank you for coming by. My sermons are made so much better by my wonderful friends. Letting us know their thoughts.

      I was actually reading some Catechism as I do daily. And the point the Bishops were trying to make was that sin was simply doing anything that distances you from God. Cheating fits the bill.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      12 months ago from The Caribbean

      This was also a vocabulary lesson in the many ways to say (also to perform the act of) cheating. You certainly made your points. I also like "None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself." Serious food for thought.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      It is a fun one Tim. But you have to make sure that you do not punish yourself when you look inward and see your transgression. For me, it was hard letting go.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 

      12 months ago from Escondido, CA

      Great food for pondering. Thanks for the sermon today.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks clive, I was just thinking that I should have added - beg.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      12 months ago from Jamaica

      teach it eric. I like the concept of trick!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, back in those days I grew very tired of keeping my cover up stories straight - phew what a lot of work. Funny but people like me with my warts better than too much makeup.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Demas that is a wonderful comment, thank you much.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Perfect!

      I grew tired of cheating myself.

      When I stopped, life improved.

      Funny how that works!

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      12 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Similar to rolling your tongue ten times before you speak, is asking what would God have me do, what would Christ do in my situation, and what will my tomorrows be like, if I act this way or that way? All actions have consequences, so take the time to search your conscience, then ask yourself those three questions again, and act accordingly.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Amen Jackie. One of the special things about you Jackie, and there are many. You teach us about this love, with kindness and a story that makes us more hopeful and more "in love". I pound the lectern but you gently guide us through example.

      All should read https://letterpile.com/serializations/Hear-That-Wh...

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      12 months ago from The Beautiful South

      You said it correctly, Eric. We cheat ourselves. Even those not Christian must realize as they age and do less bad things that life is much better away from wrong doing and the wrong doers!

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