Character 1: Honesty

Rick Mattson Devotion, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

I heard my friend Val tell this arresting story at a seminar this summer:

Years ago, as a high school senior she’d been crossing a few ethical and life-style lines.

One was this:

Her parents kept cash in an envelop in the house, and she’d gotten into the habit of dipping in and helping herself — without her parents’ knowledge or permission.

Suspecting something was amiss, her folks began checking the balance in the envelope on a regular basis, then confronted Val with their findings.

The timing was awkward: in three weeks she was due to leave the nest for college. This was the culmination of her childhood. She’d been caught red-handed.

Her mom and dad drove her to college and moved her into the dorms. The last thing her father said was this:

Val, we’ve never worried about what you’d do in life. We know you’ll be successful. What we’re concerned about is who you’re becoming as a person.

Then her folks left.

Val has told this story a hundred times in public. For some reason on this particular occasion, in a seminar where I sat spellbound, she cried. The memory was sharp, the pain still fresh, two decades after the matter.


I wonder at times who I’m becoming.

And you?

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