Aug 15 2015

Statistical Honesty

Published by at 10:07 pm under Life

I can run a mile in 4 minutes and 24 seconds. That’s what my watch told me the other day. For one moment, my pace was 4:24/mile. So I’m pretty fast, right? Wrong. My SPOT PACE was 4:24 but my AVERAGE PACE for that mile was much higher (and less impressive – in fact, not impressive at all – so not impressive I’m embarrassed to write it here!).

Don’t be easily convinced by people who claim wild success rates.

Sustained, long-term performance is excruciatingly difficult. A full 4:24 mile is a near miracle for the average human. It’s exceptional by definition – it’s an exception.

It’s often the incompetent and untrustworthy who make dubious claims of being exceptional. Unable to establish real credibility with their actual work, they simply claim it in words.

“An honest witness does not deceive…”
_Proverbs 14:5

The liar tries to recruit people to something that’s fake. They spend their energy propping up a facade of success rather than the real work of real success.

“Food gained by fraud tastes sweet, but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.”
_Proverbs 20:17

Our work in this world isn’t primarily intended to impress other people. It’s intended to help people. When we lie about the effectiveness of what we do, we waste the time of others who believe us at our word.

Be honest when you use statistics. Let the full truth come out. It will show you where you’re failing. When we see how average we are, it can propel us to address WHY we’re average.

Too often we fib (or lie) about success to seek respect or money. There’s a sure way to this reward, but it isn’t deceit.

“Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.”
_Proverbs 22:4

What we do is seen by God. We may fool others with our white lies and obscuring of the truth. But we’re the REAL fools – thinking we’re getting away with it. If a human doesn’t see through it, God does. Oh, may he help us be humble and know he’s near – like the Father he is – watching our moves and motives. Help us be children you’re proud of, Lord!

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