The Lying Cereal Box


The Lying Cereal Box

“Can you get the prize out for me?” Greta eagerly asked her father. She pointed to

a picture on the back of her cereal box. It showed a huge pile of colorful candy

pouring out of a package.

“Well, let’s see if we can find it,” said Dad. He shook the box, tipped it this way

and that, then reached in and pulled out the prize–a small, sample-size package of

candy. He tossed it to Greta. “Save it till after breakfast,” he said.

When Greta tore open the package a little later, a few small pieces of candy fell

out. She counted them–only three. She counted the pieces in the picture on the

cereal box. There were 20. “I thought I’d get as much candy as the picture shows,” she

complained to her dad.

“The cereal company wanted you to think you’d get a lot so you’d persuade

someone to buy the cereal for you,” explained Dad. “They deceived you.”

Greta frowned. “What does deceive’ mean?”

“It means to get someone to believe something that isn’t true,” explained Dad.

That afternoon, Greta’s friend Molly came to play. Greta had recently begun taking

piano lessons, and she showed Molly what she had been learning. “That looks like

fun! Let’s pretend you’re the teacher and I’m your student,” suggested Molly.

“Greta! Telephone!” called Dad.

The caller was Kaylie, who lived a few doors away. “Play? At my house?” asked

Greta after listening a moment. “Well . . . uh . . .” Greta chose her words carefully.

“I’m in the middle of a piano lesson,” she said. “Uh . . . sure. Some other time.”

Dad frowned as Greta hung up. “Did you tell Kaylie the truth?”

Greta shrugged. “I didn’t lie.”

“What did Kaylie understand about the piano lesson?” persisted Dad. “Do you

think you deceived her?”

Greta blushed. She knew the picture she’d given was just as deceiving as the picture

on the cereal box. She’d gotten Kaylie to think her piano teacher was there. “I’m sorry,”

said Greta. “I’ll call her back and see if she wants to come and play piano lessons,’ too.”
Have you ever been deceived—been given the wrong idea—by someone? Do you ever deceive other people? Deception is allowing someone to believe something that isn’t true. There are other ways to lie besides just saying something that isn’t true, and all of them are wrong. Speak honest words, but live an honest life, too.

TODAY’S KEY VERSE: Leviticus 19:11 (KJV)
You shall not . . . lie to one another.

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