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Is cheating on a test a sin?

This may seem like a no-brainer, but cheating on a test can be a huge temptation to any student, especially if it's a surprise test or one that we're not too prepared for. If cheating on a test doesn't hurt anyone and may even help you, does it count as something bad?

Well, let's look at what cheating on a test really is. Cheating is essentially acting dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, usually in a game or on an exam. It is basically going against set rules so that you can come out successfully.

As believers of Christ, we should all be working toward glorifying the Lord. So the question we should ask ourselves is this: "Will cheating on a test count for or against the goodness that will glorify Him?"

Even though the world excuses dishonesty when it seems trivial (like finding out test questions ahead of time, which is an advantage over others), the Bible tells us something different. Simply put, cheating is lying, and lying is a sin (Leviticus 19:11; Proverbs 12:22).

God wants us to strive to be truth-tellers, and He will honor that—even if the results are that we don't do well on a test and get a bad grade. After all, wouldn't it be more responsible to study hard ahead of time so that we can do well on any upcoming tests or assignments? Or get a tutor if we're struggling? Our grades should represent what we have learned in the class.

We all need to walk in the light, and cheating prevents people from seeing Christ's glory in us. Lies can only mar the goodness the children of God should have (Philippians 2:15; Ephesians 5:8). If our own Heavenly Father condemns lying (Proverbs 6:16-19), there is no way a believer can justify even a "harmless" lie.

What it comes down to is that cheating is a selfish act which gives us an advantage over others who are facing the same challenge. We should seek to help others fairly and justly, and cheating on a test just isn't going to uphold that standard.

TL;DR

Even though the world excuses dishonesty when it seems trivial, the Bible tells us something different. Simply put, cheating is lying, and lying is a sin (Leviticus 19:11; Proverbs 12:22). God wants us to strive to be truth-tellers—even if the results are that we don't do well on a test and get a bad grade. We all need to walk in the light, and cheating prevents people from seeing Christ's glory in us (Philippians 2:15; Ephesians 5:8).

By: Catiana Nak Kheiyn

Cat is the webmaster and editor of 412teens.org and writes novellas with local young writers at her workshops. She also contributes at GotQuestions.org, Blogos.org, and GQkidz.org. When Catiana is not writing or hanging out with teens, she loves spending time with her two kids, five socially awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily that gets together every Saturday for various shenanigans.

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