Is Cheating A Sin?

by | Feb 28, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

Most of us know cheating as infidelity in a relationship or dishonesty in academics. However, cheating can take many forms and penetrate all areas of our lives, including work and even in the church. But is cheating a sin?

The Bible tells us that cheating is a sin. It’s a form of dishonesty or lying that contrasts with the standards our LORD has set, causing us to fall short of His glory. But like any other sin, God provides a way out through repentance, seeking forgiveness, and striving for righteousness.

Why Is Cheating a Sin?

According to the Dictionary, cheating is “to act dishonestly or unfairly to gain an advantage.” When you get academic credit dishonestly or unfairly, you deceive yourself and others. You’re also taking work that is not yours and passing it off as your hard work. This is basically stealing.

Cheating robs trust and leaves pain and betrayal. It breaks laws and undermines respect for authority. Deceitfulness in work involves paying employees an unfair wage or engaging in fraudulent practices. In marriage, cheating is called adultery, and Scripture prohibits it (Exodus 20:14).

In all forms, cheating involves dishonesty, which contradicts the biblical principles of love, truthfulness, and honesty. It also goes against the goodness that will glorify Him and prevents us from living a Christlike life. The Bible tells us cheating, which is lying, and dishonesty is a sin (Leviticus 19:11; Colossians 3:9; James 4:17; Proverbs 12:22; Romans 14:23).

God condemns cheating by saying:

“There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community” (Proverbs 6:16-19).

Our LORD also explains that cheating will keep a sinner out of heaven: “You yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God?” (1 Corinthians 6:8-9).

How To Use Biblical Teachings To Prevent Cheating In Our Lives

What a Man Thinks Determines Their Action

God does not lessen the seriousness of cheating nor say that we should not punish the offender, but He emphasizes the greater need to love others as we love ourselves, to avoid seeking revenge or holding grudges, and to keep our thoughts clean, as well as our minds pure (Matthew 22:39; Leviticus 19:18; Romans 8:7). It’s important to understand why we cheat because it points or leads us to the root cause.

When we dig into the “why,” we often uncover the root cause of cheating is selfishness, which leads to self-centered actions that compromise the integrity of character. Besides, the kind of life we live, i.e., our very nature, is our thoughts, which lead to actions.

Jesus emphasized the importance of directing our minds into right thinking when he said, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

When you fill your mind with what’s right, God will be the focus of your thoughts, and your character will comply with the principles set by YHWH. That way, we will avoid sin that destroys or taints our character. This is important because even if you’re not caught, cheating will have an internal impact, and that will stand against Him on Judgment day (Ezekiel 18:4; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Ecclesiastes 12:14).

The Bible also states that “He knows the secrets of the heart” (Psalms 44:21). So even though we may cheat and get away with it or assume no one will know about it, God knows. God’s Word also promises, “There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open” and “whoever takes crooked paths will be found out” (Luke 8:17; Proverbs 10:9).

Yes, we are likely to be tempted all around, and sometimes cheating can capitalize on our weaknesses, be it peer pressure or lack of confidence. But in such times, we must remember that an upright character is the result of continued effort and right thinking or godlike thoughts. In addition, self-interest and self-gratification are some of the motivators for cheating.

Paul cautions against looking out for our best interest by saying: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3).

Those who put others first exhibit a Christ-like character. Jesus has conquered sin, temptation, and weakness, so He should be the perfect example of how we live our lives. Some characteristics associated with Jesus include justice, peace, wisdom, self-control, honesty, unconditional love, and integrity. 

The Roots Of Sin Are In a Person Himself

Sin originates from within our thoughts, desires, and actions. (Isaiah 59: 2; Luke 5:8; Romans 3: 23). The behavior of almost everyone who cheats is driven by the benefit that comes from cheating, i.e., to get as much money or glory as possible or to attain a personal goal. It’s about self-interest and self-gain. Cheating causes a believer to disregard rules in favor of personal gain.

Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property but decided to cheat and keep some of the money for themselves. They went ahead with their actions to see how much they could get away with (Acts 5:1-10). However, God struck them dead because honesty and integrity are the standards of God’s way of life, and sin cannot be linked to or associated with Him. God effectively reminded them and us that He will not abide with cheating.

Cheating, just like the case of Ananias and Sapphira, is often done in secret when no one is watching, and we are also never forthcoming with the truth, especially when we assume we won’t get caught. In such cases, we look at what we stand to gain rather than the consequences.

Another good example of where we see this is Jacob, who, with the help of his mother, cheated his brother Esau of the firstborn inheritance. When Esau found out, he sought revenge, which caused Jacob to run to his uncle Laban, who also cheated him out of his wealth.

Just like in the story of Jacob, cheating, which is deception and lying, appears to be lucrative at first, but it is spiritually disastrous because trust is completely violated. And in the end, it does not reflect the qualities of God’s character. Since sin is that which goes against God’s words/teaching or anything that prevents us from having a relationship with our LORD, then cheating is sin.

Is Cheating Forgivable?

When it comes to cheating, God will never let you be tempted more than you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13). Since cheating is a sin, it calls for reconciliation.

The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just; and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). God offers a path to redemption and forgiveness for those who have cheated. It starts with repentance, where we acknowledge our wrongdoings and seek forgiveness.

Finally, we must make amends and strive to live a life that reflects Christ’s character in all aspects, as portrayed in the Bible. We must look at ourselves frequently and ensure we’re living by God’s standards.


Cheating often begins as a thought or a series of rationalizations within a person’s mind. These thoughts, if entertained, can lead to actions with disastrous consequences. Whether you are thinking of cheating on a test or your partner, cheating in whatever form is a sin. As Christians, we can always choose to turn away from sin by seeking forgiveness and striving to keep his commandments or live a life that pleases God.

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About: Ronie

Ronnie Amaya has been actively involved in ministry since his high school and university days where he served as a Christian union leader. After graduation, he worked as an itinerary minister preaching in Schools, Universities, Street Evangelizations, and Churches. In 2018, he led a team in planting a new church in Nairobi, Kenya where he is currently serving as the lead pastor.
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Ronnie Amaya has been actively involved in ministry since his high school and university days where he served as a Christian union leader. After graduation, he worked as an itinerary minister preaching in Schools, Universities, Street Evangelizations, and Churches. In 2018, he led a team in planting a new church in Nairobi, Kenya where he is currently serving as the lead pastor.

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