Sermon Illustrations

Soldier Lies to Napoleon About Heroism, Israeli Woman Lies About Age

Napoleon often told this story: Once, while visiting a province he came on an old soldier with one arm severed, dressed in full uniform. On his uniform the proud fighter displayed the coveted Legion of Honor. “Where did you lose your arm?” Napoleon asked. “At Austerlitz, sire,” came the soldier’s brisk reply.

“And for that you received the Legion of Honor?”

“Yes, sire. It is but a small token to pay for the decoration.”

“You must be,” the emperor said, “the kind of man who regrets he did not lose both arms for his country.”

“What then would have been my reward?” asked the one-armed man.

“Then,” Napoleon replied, “I would have awarded you a double Legion of Honor.” With that the proud, old fighter drew his sword and immediately cut off his other arm.

This story was circulated for years. One day someone asked, “How?”

Here is an example of a lie and it’s on going effects:

The United Press International reported of an angry Israeli judge who refused to allow a lady to be her own age. The 1975 story:

In 1955, Miss Melania Neubart decided she wanted to be 10 years younger in hopes of paving an easier road towards marriage. Claiming there was an error in the official records, Miss Neubart obtained a court declaration stating she was born in 1923 instead of 1913 (she would have been age 62 in 1975).

At that time, she went to magistrate’s court to change her year of birth back to 1913 and admitted she had lied the first time because she wanted to find a husband. Still single, she realized she was officially too young to qualify for a national insurance pension.

The judge refused the applicant’s behavior as “bold impertinence,” saying she made the court “an unwitting accomplice in the perpetration of a lie.”

Well for Miss Neubart her lie certainly backfired. They often do; as those who tell them have to have very good memories as well as the fore thought to figure out the implications of what they say. In this case justice had to be served and the court could not be implicated in a lie. Her loss, no pension.

From a sermon by Andrew Moffatt, Truth, time to wake up and smell the caffine, 11/8/2009

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