Telling Tales … on Tape

“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”

Proverbs 10:9 (NIV)

On an old BASF cassette tape, fondly titled “Christmas 1981,” a great example of a child’s attempt at deception is recorded for posterity. That child was me, and sadly enough, I was the very one who recorded the sneakiness in question.

In 1981, I was in third grade and apparently I was more than a little sneaky and bratty. It’s funny how I don’t remember being that way, but sure enough, the proof is on the infamous cassette. The majority of the tape, recorded mostly on the Christmas Day I received a tape recorder as one of my prized gifts, includes, among other things, me telling my brothers how “not smart” I thought they were, along with a funny discussion between my dad and youngest brother about what we were having for Christmas dinner that evening.

Tucked in among these humorous scenes, however, is a 30-second snippet of a conversation between a deceptive little girl and her mother that goes something like this:

 “Where did you get that blue wrapping paper, Mom?”

“What blue wrapping paper, Cheryl?”

“You know, the blue paper with that stuff on it.”

“Turn it off.”


“Turn it off, ” my mom said, laughing.

 “It is off!”

“Cheryl!” (with the last half of my name in an uptone)

“It is off.”

“Turn it off. You’re wasting tape.”


It’s funny how we kids think we’re so clever when we lie to our parents only to find out later that they knew the truth all along. In the above conversation, I not only tried to sneak getting my mom’s voice recorded, but I also told an outright lie that the tape recorder had been turned off. And the funniest part – I incriminated myself by recording the whole thing! Proverbs 10:9 came true – I was walking a crooked path, and, sure enough, I was found out.

Solomon warns us in Proverbs 10:9 that those who practice deception will be caught. This is a great reminder that it’s always best when we walk with integrity. God hates lies (Proverbs 6:16-20) and dishonest practices (Proverbs 11:1), and the consequences we suffer for dishonest words and deeds can be devastating.

So, keep yourself trustworthy. Be honest with others and with yourself. Walk with integrity and avoid crooked paths. Proverbs 12:22 tells us that, when we do these things, we will find the delight of the Lord.

This was my ninth birthday back in 1981, the beginning of a most wonderful decade and just months before I received that awesome tape recorder!

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