I Cheated & Got Caught

A few Thanksgivings ago, I almost got kicked out of college.


I had a biology paper due the day before Thanksgiving break.
Since I really couldn’t have cared less about biology (I still don’t), I just wanted the paper done.

So, I did what any other upstanding, future ministry leader, freshman college student would do…

I downloaded a paper off of the internet.

Since I did have a brain in my head and knew what was at stake, I went the extra mile and even edited the paper to make it sound more like myself.
Apparently, I wasn’t as smart as I thought.

I turned the paper in the day before Thanksgiving and had to worry about getting caught for the entire Thanksgiving break.
It was the worst day of thanks I’ve ever had.

As much as I always disliked school, this Thanksgiving break wasn’t any better.

I was constantly checking my grade online throughout the break.

I tell you all of this for a purpose.
Not really anything mind bending,


If we do the right thing, we never have to worry about getting caught.

Seriously, if most of us spent as much time working hard on doing things right as we do on trying to cover up our own laziness,
we’d have a lot less worry and a lot more free time.


  • We tell lies to keep from telling the truth.
  • We take short cuts instead of doing the work right.
  • We manipulate instead of resolving.
  • We avoid instead of confronting.

Here’s my challenge to both of us as we get ready for Thanksgiving…

Do what you do the right way.

We can avoid the consequences that come with doing things the wrong way.

BTW: I did get caught by a very gracious professor that didn’t turn me in and gave me a second chance. The rewrite probably took less time and work than the editing of the other paper…


  1. Paul

    Praise the Lord you got caught. Imagine the result if you hadn’t been. We never like these lessons but they are the best ones. Thank you for your transparency. I will use your testimony with my students.

  2. So very true, Jonathan! I try to tell my 16 year old son this all the time. I hope someday that he’ll get it. I’m forwarding this post to him. Perhaps, you’ll get through to him. Have a great Thanksgiving, my friend. I’m thankful for you!

    1. Great post Jonathan. We all have to remember that God KNOWS! We can never hide from His gaze and we take Him with us NO MATTER WHERE we are! BTW…I did something very similar to this…didn’t actually turn in the paper though…you’re braver than I am!

  3. Mom

    I remember that Thanksgiving all to well. It was really a rough day and weekend for us. However, I am thankful that you learned a very good lesson! I love you and hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

  4. evie

    We’ve ALL been there, and I thank Jesus for his help daily from these “easy buttons” of life I’m often tempted with and for his mercy where I’ve allowed the temptation bring forth similar situations like yours. Glad your professor had the kind of grace our Heavenly Father shows us and you can look back and be an encouragement to others.

  5. Appreciate the transparency, Jonathan. Lessons learned the hard way are lessons learned, no less. However, your sharing will perhaps help a lesson be learned without the heartache and worry. Thanks for sharing!


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