This I Believe

Bradley - altoona, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 12, 2006

Today honesty is the guiding force in my life. I could not say that years ago. I was mischievous and was always getting into trouble. I lied about everything and couldn’t tell the truth to save my life. If someone told me not to do something, I did it. I stole, cheated, and took many shortcuts in life. I was living a very dishonest life. Everyone was against me and all my problems were everyone else’s fault.

In my early childhood, I was kicked out of every daycare center I was in. I had hundreds of detentions and many suspensions in elementary, middle, and high school. It was me against the world. To make a long story short, I found myself in a lot of trouble at the age of 18. That’s when I landed myself in a drug rehab. I was so far gone and my future looked hopeless. In rehab they said that God was probably the only way out for me. I never went to church or even prayed, but I was curious what He could do for me. I was saved in rehab and completed the treatment program. And I was baptized as soon as I got home.

I started a new life and God was a big part of it. I learned that honesty would bring me closer to Him. I had to be honest if I wanted to be happy, joyous, and free. I have accomplished a lot over the past five years. I haven’t drunk alcohol or used drugs since I was 18. I’m getting ready to graduate from Penn State this year with a bachelor’s degree in finance. I have a great relationship with my mom, friends, and family. I am financially secure and physically fit. I am a productive member of society. I’m living an honest life and it feels great.

I am not perfectly honest, but I can honestly say that I’ve made a lot of progress. Today, when I’m dishonest, I feel an emptiness in the pit of my stomach. I don’t like the feeling. There are temptations around every corner. After bumping my head hundreds of times, I realized that honesty is the best policy. I believe that honesty is freedom from the bondage of self and I am free today. I don’t have to worry about my lies catching up to me. I don’t have to worry about getting into trouble for doing dishonest things. I lay my head on my pillow at night and have a clear conscience because know I am living an honest life. It’s a great feeling and I love my new life.