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"Everybody Does It"

June 2008

     Ask a college student why he would cheat on his exams, one common answer is "Everybody does it!"
     Ask a shoplifter why he steals and you might hear, "Everybody does it!"
     Ask a car dealer why he told a lie. "Everybody does it" seems to be a suitable reason.
     Ask a husband why he cheated on his wife, and again you might discover the logic of "Everybody does it."
     What a sorry list this is becoming! Yet we know it could be longer. Everyone is supposedly doing what everyone knows ought not be done, but does anyway because everyone does it.
     Yes, it is a sobering fact that many are enthusiastically doing known wrongs. And some of this bold enthusiasm rests upon the fact that very, very many are doing what was once decisively wrong.
     Thus it seems, at times, that when enough individuals do a given wrong, the wrong is no longer as wrong as it was before everybody did it. Is this really so?
     1 + 2 = 4. Right or wrong?
     Now if 999,999 out of 1 million people said right, and 1 person said wrong, would 1 + 2 = 4? Obviously, no matter how many of every million people say it is right, 1 + 2 does not equal 4. It never has and it never will!
     Similarly, cheating on exams, shoplifting, lying and adultery will always be as wrong as they ever have been. No matter how many persons produce statistics to indicate everyone does it, what God, the Holy God, has labeled as being wrong, is wrong. It always will be.
     Why then do we find ourselves tempted to say, "Everybody is doing it?" Some of our reasonings might include:
     ~ It reduces my guiltiness since others are doing it. (Does it?)
     ~ It lessens the shame of my wrong doing. (Does it really?)
     ~ Since everyone does it God will need to overlook the wrong I do, too. (Will He?)
     Each one of these thoughts and all the others do not stand up to scrutiny, do they? Then who will stand up for right when everybody seems to choose wrong? Those who know not everybody attempts to adjust right and wrong according to their own feelings.
     May you and I be among those who avoid wrong doing, no matter how many seem to be doing it.
- Tom Bender
   Kippen, ON