*Every born-again Believer should be a person of integrity and ethics. Unfortunately, these traits seem rare commodities in most Christians.
We, as Christians, are called in Matthew 5:8 to be pure in heart, which implies an undivided focus in following God’s rule. It calls for no compromise, deviation or avoidance of the price tag that may have to be paid to stand for what we know to be right. We are also told in Proverbs 11:3: The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.
Integrity guides us to the truth. Integrity is not, in and of itself, the truth. It is a guide for acting on the truth, and it forces you to question and analyze your situation. Integrity is the process of discerning right from wrong, and then doing what you know to be right.
Let me give you two words — consistency and predictability. Consistency means “the same yesterday, today and forever,” and predictability means knowing what will happen. This is why we can base our lives on God’s Word, because God is consistent and predictable. In other words, we can count on God. You cannot have integrity without consistency and predictability.
Jesus said in Luke 16:10-12: “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?”
This principle is so true. If you are a person of integrity, whatever else may be going on around you is irrelevant and immaterial, and it is below your personal dignity not to follow through on your word. Why should God make a commitment to you when He cannot trust you? We are our promises, our words, and we lose hold of ourselves when we do not make an effort to keep our word.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, integrity means the quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness; honesty and sincerity. It is a quality or state of being – something you do on a consistent basis, just like the proverb says.
A person with these qualities is willing to bear the consequences of his or her convictions, even when those consequences are difficult or unpleasant. If we are never challenged, we can never really know how deeply we believe and are committed to our belief.
There are three components involved in acting on a personal sense of integrity:
1. Discerning what is right and wrong.
2. Acting on what you have discerned, even at personal cost.
3. Saying openly that you are acting on what you understand to be right and wrong.
We have a perfect Biblical example of individuals using these three steps in the third chapter of Daniel. When King Nebuchadnezzar had a giant golden idol erected he made an order that everyone was to bow before it. The three Hebrew boys Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego refused. The king became furious and had the boys thrown into the fiery furnace, but God delivered them. However, notice that the boys had to act on their belief before they received deliverance.
In the sixth chapter of Daniel, Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den. He discerned right from wrong – continued to worship the true God rather than obey the edict of the king – then made his choice and God delivered him. In the Book of Genesis, when Joseph acted with integrity, God eventually promoted him from prison to the right hand of Pharaoh to serve as his regent.
The Lord is no respecter of persons. He does not change His mind, nor go back on His Word. Therefore, He has obligated Himself to do for you what he did for Joseph, the three Hebrew boys and Daniel. Joseph says in Genesis 50:20 that “… you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good….” This principle, and the blessed assurance it gives is yours as you remain committed to a lifestyle of integrity.
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