2……….Conference Teaching Plan
6……….Honesty Scripture References
7……….Quotes on Honesty
8……….For the Youth Minister
Implement The Moral Compass in Your
11……….7 Laws of the Harvest
The Parent Conference Guides for this
lesson have fill
throughout. Answers to those blanks are
the words in bold
face type found in this
Conference Teaching Plan.
The Moral Compass
Conference Teaching Plan
Introduction to The Moral Compass
The Moral Compass exists to develop moral character, healthy relationships, and Godly choices in
students. It seeks to:
Help students build a strong moral compass. (Matt. 22:37)
Help students develop healthy relationships. (Matt. 22:39)
Help students form future lasting marriages by building strong character through positive choices now. (Psalm
The Moral Compass seeks to accomplish this by empowering parents to teach their children about
moral character and purity, and to make a commitment to these virtues themselves, and by empowering, en-
couraging, instructing, and supplying information to youth ministers on relational coping skills.
Honesty is the quality or
of being honest. It is
. Honesty is
and uprightness. The character of honesty does not display deception or fraudulence,
but is genuine, equitable and fair. It is characterized by truth, not falsehood.
Sounds great. What’s the problem?
The problem is that honesty is only
choices. The other choice is, of course, dishonesty.
As fallible creatures, we are compelled by our nature to respond to situations we encounter in a self
way. Mark Twain once said, “All our acts, reasoned and unreasoned, are selfish.” Although our God
ability to be rational creatures serves us well in giving us dominion over the other creatures, it in many ways
handicaps us in our giving ourselves up in submission to our creator. In the case of honesty, our rationality
handicaps us in our submission to God because we often feel drawn to measure the results of both honesty
and dishonesty, in a given situation, and choose which one we feel will best suit us. However, God’s direc-
tive for us is ever so clear,
is always the
10 says, “Do not lie to each
other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being
renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
Since my rational nature is not always correct, I should seek to see if my thought process delivers an
answer that matches up with scripture. If I “think one way” and God’s word differs, then I must
way I think, because His word is always
. It is then our spiritual nature, which is designed to live by
revelation, rather than reason, that gives us the directive we must follow. It is faith in God and the
of His trustworthy council, rather than in our own rationalizations, that will ultimately bear good fruit or
success in our lives. This truth reveals itself from the very beginning of time. When Eve was tempted in the
garden, she turned from the only way she had known to live (that is, by God’s
of what was ac-
17, “The LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you
may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you
eat from it you will surely die.’”
) to her
of thinking (
Genesis 3:6 “When the woman saw that the
tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one
wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.”
So, is this true of people today?
Yes! Our students are struggling with the same issue.
(Walk through the PowerPoint slides concerning the survey conducted by The Moral Compass team
and the Josephson Institute of Ethics and/or use the “Survey Results” information on pages 11
12 in the Par-
ent Conference Guide. Survey results are also provided for you on page 10 of this manual.)
Despite these responses, students overwhelmingly agreed with the statement: “It is important to me that
Students do know whether an act is
Students can and do identify given acts and
responses as honest or dishonest, but their ability to distinguish one from the other does not ensure their
choice of that which is good.
Students will often respond according to their
perceived best end
This is not all bad. Making a ra-
tional choice is part of an intellectual process. However, when a lie seems to fit the situation better
than the truth, we set ourselves up for a big disappointment. My “perceived” best end can never match
God’s reward for truth.
There are little white lies (the phone rings and we don’t want to speak
to the person on the other end, so we have someone tell them we’re not home), courtesy or polite lies
(we tell Aunt June that her stuffing is better than ever, when we really think it is drier than quilt bat-
ting), pressure lies, hurtful lies, bold
faced lies and more. These all represent degrees of honesty, with
some lies being harmless and others being very destructive. The problem with seeing honesty this way
is not in determining a level of harm per lie, but in the fostering of a pattern for being untruthful.
Students do not fully understand the
of honesty and/or the
dents desire to be trusted and know it is meaningful to be so, but a trustworthy reputation is only one of
the benefits of honesty. Likewise, there are more consequences for dishonesty than the wrath of your
So how do I build honesty in my student?
There are some helpful steps, which you can take to help your child value honesty and commit to being
an honest person. Kari West, co
author of the book,
When He Leaves
(Victor Books), wrote an article for Fo-
cus on the Family entitled, “What Harm Can a Little Lie Do?” In her article, West recommends several ap-
proaches to help convince our kids to speak the truth. Here is an adaptation of those principles with a few
. Don’t ask your children to pretend that lies
don’t exist. Let them know that lies
can and will devastate a relationship. Share with them that it is imperative that you be able to trust one
. Respond to the question “What harm can a little lie do?” by telling your kids
how some of your small deceptions created big problems.
Show how even
affect the tellers. Emphasize that white lies undermine credibility. To make
the point stick, ask your children, “Who will confide in you after you’ve lied to them?”
examples. Example: “Dave Bliss, former basketball coach at Baylor University,
sought the help of his assistant coaches and players to help him cover up his financial misdeeds, by at-
tempting to misdirect police investigators by soiling the reputation of one of their former friends and
teammates who had been recently murdered. Bliss wanted them to claim that this former player had
been a drug dealer.”
, not words. Remind your kids that actions
speak louder than words. Politicians
promise lots of things, but they are not respected because they rarely deliver.
view and remind your children of it. Cliff Coons, research chemist and father of six,
puts it this way: “The heart of lying is that we want to be like God, who spoke into being the universe.
So we speak into existence the world we want to see.” If your kids want to hear about honesty straight
from the source, read them Leviticus 19:11: “Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.”
Don’t measure or punish because of
. In interviews, middle
school students have con-
fessed to family therapist, Carleton Kendrick, that they are embarrassed about cheating, but do it any-
way because they fear their parents’ negative reactions to grades or test scores. Reward your kids' ef-
forts and progress, not the final results.
Don’t play the
game. All children experiment with lying, and as Kendrick points out, all
misbehaviors have “goals.” It’s a parent’s job to find out what the goals are, but instead of being accu-
satory or distrustful, Kendrick advises, try an empathetic approach: “You know son, I know you are a
guy who always wants to tell the truth. There must be something going on to make you think about ly-
ing. I want to find out what made you change your mind about telling the truth.” Such an approach can
be tailored to tots or teens; it’s less likely that children will respond defensively or refuse to talk when a
parent begins by expressing faith in their desire to be truthful.
Proverbs 25:12 says, “Like an earring
of gold and an ornament of fine gold, Is a wise reprover to a listening ear.”
Clearly communicate the
of honesty and the
(Use the “7 Laws
of the Harvest” reproducible handout on page 11 to describe the sowing and reaping nature of the bene-
fits and consequences of honesty and dishonesty.)
for honesty. Many of us unintentionally set
up our children up for lying and
then explode when it happens. By the phrase, “unintentionally set
up our children,” I mean, we create
conditions in our home and in our individual relationships with our children, which will cause them to
desire lying over telling the truth. Some of those elements, which may foster dishonesty are:
When we are dishonest, then we can have the expectation that our children will be
dishonest as well.
in my teenager’s life. If my teenager feels that I am disinter-
ested in his or her life, they will lie, if for no other reason, to hurt me and draw me into their
responses to the truth. When we explode at the truth, we make it an easy choice for
our children to lie. If your child has an expectation of wrath, they will tell you whatever you
want to hear to avoid dealing with your anger.
Conversely, when we live lives of honesty, our children are more likely to value telling the truth. If I
show a genuine interest in my child’s life and am involved in his relationships and activities, then he
will be less likely to lie to me since my knowledge of his life is a deterrent to him in regard to making
false statements. My anger will not discourage lying, but rather, it will become a reason for it. If you
truly want to foster an atmosphere of honesty, then anytime the truth is told it should be rewarded.
That reward may be as small as a simple recognition: “I appreciate you being honest.” Consequences
for any undesired behavior will still occur, but an honest reply should temper our response and help us
to choose a course of discipline that helps correct the problem and encourage future honesty.
28:13 says, “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes
them will find compassion.”
My child may not be truthful with me anyway. How do I recognize if they are lying?
Proverbs 18:17 says, “The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and ques-
In her article, West also talks about how to become a lie detector. She writes that there are some
typical traits a liar employs:
“I didn’t do it.”
“She made me do it,” or “If you’d been a better friend .
“You make me furious when you say that!” Liars hope their anger will force you to back down
and forget the original issue. You can’t think straight when you’re angry or dealing with an angry per-
son. But this emotional response may mean you are close to the truth.
“How can you say that about me?” Once you become concerned with how the liar feels,
the real issue gets lost.
“Everybody makes mistakes” or “Give me a break; I goofed.”
“That guy you saw me with is just a friend” or “That’s not what I meant” or “You’re too
“I didn’t want to hurt you” or “Yes, I took $10 from your purse, Mom. But I’ll never do it
“Dad, you’re a Christian. So why can’t you just forgive me?”
You might remember these two helpful hints:
You can trust your child foolishly or wisely. Don’t live in the dark. Quietly verify
their words and actions.
that if they choose to be dishonest, they will get
in their lie. Nothing works quite like
something that doesn’t work.
How can trust be rebuilt after a lie?
The United States Military Academies live by an honor code: “We will not lie, steal, cheat, or tolerate
among us anyone who does.” The kind of trust that is lost by being dishonest is illustrated by how the military
responds to someone who violates the honor code. According to the Air Force Cadet Wing Honor Code Refer-
ence Handbook, “the presumptive sanction for any Honor Code violation is disenrollment. However, the Com-
mandant of Cadets or the Superintendent has the authority to suspend a recommendation of disenrollment for a
period of time, giving the cadet an opportunity to recover from their violation and be restored to the cadet
wing. This period, called honor probation, has been highly formalized and “reengineered” throughout its his-
tory for maximum benefit to the cadet, the wing, and the Air Force.”
The probation includes both punitive and rehabilitative components. The punitive side entails that a
cadet suffers immediate consequences, including: loss of privileges, loss of good standing in the wing, and ad-
ministrative sanctions. The rehabilitative side is all about developing the cadet’s understanding and commit-
ment to the proper values. “It is not the purpose of honor probation to merely avoid further infractions, rather,
the goal is to internalize the code and become a well
rounded cadet.” During honor probation, the cadet must
fulfill multiple requirements in order to restore his standing and good name. The goals of these requirements
are reflection, rehabilitation, and restoration, and include:
No early release from probation. No exceptions.
Preparation of a Probation Portfolio, which includes:
A presentation at the beginning and end of probation
Keeping a daily journal with entries about honor, integrity, morals and values
Meet with a mentor
Complete a project, which educates the entire wing on honor and integrity
Evaluation & completion
What if we took this military approach, softened it a bit, and used its principles to teach our children
the value of honesty?
(Use PowerPoint “Rebuilding Trust” slides and/or the “Rebuilding Trust” information
on pages 8
9 in the Parent Conference Guide. Answers to the blanks on the printed slides in the Parent Con-
ference Guide are provided for you on page 9 of this manual. Remind parents that the answers given on these
PowerPoint slides are just
and can be used in whole or in part to best help their child come to
Honesty Scripture References
Quotes on Honesty
In an issue of Moody Monthly, George Sweeting wrote about the desperate need for honesty in our cul-
ture. He referred to Dr. Madison Sarratt, who taught mathematics at Vanderbilt University for many years.
Before giving a test, the professor would admonish his class something like this: "Today I am giving two ex-
one in trigonometry and the other in honesty.I hope you will pass them both. If you must fail one,
fail trigonometry. There are many good people in the world who can't pass trig, but there are no good people
in the world who cannot pass the examination of honesty."
“The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return. It's the zero adjust on his bathroom
Arthur C. Clarke
“I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most envi-
able of all titles, the character of an honest man.”
“Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people.”
F. M. Hubbard
“Honesty is the first chapter in the Book of wisdom. Let it be our endeavor to merit the character of a
"We must not promise what we ought not, lest we be called on to perform what we cannot."
“A lie has speed, but truth has endurance.”
Edgar J. Mohn
“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
“We tell lies when we are afraid... afraid of what we don't know, afraid of what others will think, afraid
of what will be found out about us.
But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.”
“It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced
When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his profes-
sional belief to things he does not believe he has prepared himself for the commission of every other
Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
“Beware of the half truth.
You may have gotten hold of the wrong half.”
“Some people will not tolerate such emotional honesty in communication.
They would rather defend
their dishonesty on the grounds that it might hurt others.
Therefore, having rationalized their phoniness into
nobility, they settle for superficial relationships.”
“I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle.
Washington could not
I can lie, but I won't.”
How to Implement The Moral Compass in your Church
Inform your pastor and seek his support
Form a Moral Compass ministry team. Solicit the services of interested parents to serve on a
ministry team, which would oversee the development and ongoing needs of this parent ministry.
Follow the Parent Outreach Strategy
Parent Outreach Strategy
month timeline example
Youth Minister meets with active parents
Review TMC materials
Discuss TMC issues
Give names of
Give them examples of ways to build relationships with the inactive
…Common interest events
The Youth Minister should strategically pair up the parents. That is,
active parents should be matched up with inactive parents.
Youth Ministers may have to call on parents who no longer have stu-
dents in the youth group to help balance out the ratio of Inactive to
Responsible to help and/or make sure that the active parents are
building relationships with the inactive parents.
This person reminds the parents of the target dates to keep the strat-
egy on schedule.
The Youth Minister meets with parents again. This time the active parents
have brought the inactive parents.
Keep this meeting somewhat “social”. The meeting is not at the church,
somewhere off site…in a park, in someone’s home, in the school cafeteria.
Review TMC materials
Discuss TMC issues
TMC training meeting for the church. The Youth Minister or Lay Leader will present the con-
ference that will be modeled for him or her at TMC Regional Conference.
Month to month…
Set up accountability meetings with parents after implementation of TMC. Use TMC Parent
Pray for each other and children.
Accountability on True North Living.
Discuss the relative moral issues or needs of students
(Downloadable Parent Meeting Plans are FREE online at www.skopos.org)
Punitive costs of broken trust
Loss of specific
Loss of good standing in
Loss of specific
Loss of proper standing
in the home
Rehabilitative costs of broken trust
No early release from
No early release from
period of disciplinary
action. No exceptions.
Rehabilitative costs of broken trust
A presentation at the
beginning and end of
Keeping a daily journal
w/entries about honor,
integrity, morals, & values
Secure a written
commitment to telling the
Assign a book or chapter
of book for reading on
Rehabilitative costs of broken trust