After Cheating on the Test …
Everyone wants to get good grades in the exams and I am no exception. If I get good grades and good results, I can get prizes, receive praise from my parents, and more importantly, I will be liked by my teachers and envied by my classmates.
I recall my final exams of the first term in Grade Four. At that time, everything went smoothly during the math exam at first, but the last word problem stumped me. No matter how hard I thought about it, I still couldn’t do it. There were 6 marks for this problem. If I couldn’t solve it, I would only get 94 marks. I was unwilling to lose the 6 marks, so I wanted to ask my classmate, Zhong, sitting beside me who was good at math and would have been able to solve it. I looked up at the invigilator, who had her head bowed and was looking at a computer. I thought: “This is a good chance, but how should I ask him?” Just then, Zhong asked me in a low voice, “Hey, how did you solve this problem?” Unexpectedly, he’d asked me about another question first. So we exchanged the answers we each needed.
After I got home, my mother asked me, “How was the exam today? Did anything go wrong?” Immediately I thought of the way that I’d cheated in the exam. And suddenly I felt somewhat uncomfortable. I thought: “I cheated in the exam, yet I am a child who believes in God. If I tell my mother about my cheating, she will surely scold me. But if I don’t say it, my mother indeed won’t know but God will, because God inspects people’s hearts.” I hesitated for a moment, and then suddenly I remembered my mother saying that whatever we encounter, we shouldand rely on God. So I prayed to God in my heart silently, “O God! Today I cheated in the exam, and my mother asked me about my exam after I came home. However, I don’t dare to say anything for fear that she will criticize me. God, I hope You can help me to be an honest person and be willing to tell the truth to my mother.” After the prayer, I had the courage to speak honestly, and so I told my mother about my cheating in the exam.
My mother asked me, “When you were cheating, did you ever think that God doesn’t like it?” I felt somewhat bad because she was right. Why hadn’t I thought of that at that moment? So my mother fellowshiped with me about the truth of being an honest person. She read to me the following passage of God’s words: “All that you do, every action, every intention, and every reaction should be brought before God. … It is such practice that will help you achieve growth in life. The process of accepting God’s scrutiny is the process of purification. The more you can accept God’s scrutiny, the more you are purified and the more you are in accord with God’s will, so that you will not be drawn into debauchery, and your heart will live in His presence. The more you accept His scrutiny, the greater are Satan’s humiliation and your ability to forsake the flesh.” I reflected on my actions while listening to my mother. I realized that my cheating in the exam and not wanting to tell my mother were all deceitful manifestations. And I also realized that wanting to score higher by cheating was so that the teachers would like me and my classmates would envy me. God knew my heart, and I felt incomparably miserable because I wasn’t an honest person. I prayed to God silently, “O God! I have cheated today, and I’m willing to repent. If I encounter such things afterward, I hope You can help me practice the truth, and stand witness for You….”
Later, the results came out, and I got 100 marks in the math exam. But I wasn’t happy and felt that I didn’t get 100 marks in the presence of God.
In the blink of an eye the final exam of the second term in Grade Four was close at hand. Once, the teacher asked us to do a test paper he set. The paper was pretty difficult, with many problems in it which I couldn’t work out. Again I wanted to ask my classmate, but then I thought of my prayer before God last time, so I gave up. Several days later, the teacher passed out the papers to us. He explained the answers and let us mark our papers and calculate the total marks by ourselves. I totted up and found that I’d only gotten 59 marks—not a pass score. I was totally unable to accept it and felt very ashamed! Just then, the teacher said that he would count how many students got the wrong answers for each problem and that when it came to each problem, the ones who made mistakes should stand up. I felt a little embarrassed. I had done so many problems wrong, so how would the teacher regard me when he saw me standing up again and again? Usually I was a top student in our class. When the teacher found out that I had done so badly in the exam, then maybe he wouldn’t like me anymore. Thinking of this, I thought: “Well, I’ll just stand up a few times.” Just then, I thought of my mother saying that whatever we encountered, we should pray to God and seek God’s will. So I prayed to God in my heart silently: “O God! I hope You can help me so that I can be an honest person instead of safeguarding my own reputation….” After praying, I thought of God’s words: “To have the speech and comportment of a normal human being is to speak coherently, saying ‘yes’ when you mean ‘yes,’ and ‘no’ when you mean ‘no.’ Stick to the facts and speak appropriately. Do not cheat, do not lie.” That’s right! A normal human being is an honest person. At the very least an honest person should be able to call a spade a spade and not to cheat. I want to be an honest person because God likes the honest. Thinking of this, I determined not to safeguard my own status and put into practice being an honest person. However, when I stood up, my heart beat hard. I said to myself, “No matter how the teacher judges me, it is OK as long as I am in accord with God’s heart.” It turned out that the teacher didn’t look down upon me after that, and he was as good to me as before. I’d put into practice being an honest person—how happy I was!
Before long, it was the time for the final exam. In the math exam, there were again several problems I couldn’t work out. I thought: “This is the final exam, and it’s more important than the monthly exams. I need to get high marks.” I saw a classmate in front asking another classmate beside him about a problem. The invigilator didn’t notice them. So I also wanted to ask my desk mate. But then I thought of how I cheated last time. I had prayed to God that I would learn to be an honest person and wouldn’t be deceitful to God. So I prayed to God silently in my heart: “O God! I want to cheat again, but I have prayed to You and resolved not to cheat again. May You lead me to be an honest person, to be serious in this exam and answer the problems as well as I can, without thinking about copying my classmate’s answers anymore.” After I prayed, I was able to calm down and think carefully about the problems. Unwittingly, I suddenly knew how to solve some of them. I was very glad, and knew that it was God who was leading and enlightening me. In the end, I got 96 marks in that math exam, which was better than I had imagined. If I had cheated, the marks would probably have been higher, but I would have lost testimony in God’s eyes. I felt very happy and assured through practicing God’s words.
Getting high marks is good, as it will make the teachers and my parents like me, and my classmates envy me. But it cannot make me happy. Only when I act as an honest person according to God’s words, do I get true happiness. And this is the most important thing.
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