A free Christian should act from within
with a total disregard for the opinions of others.
If a course is right, he should take it because it is right,
not because he is afraid not to take it.
And if it is wrong, he should avoid it
though he lose every earthly treasure
and even his very life as a consequence.
A. W. Tozer
Integrity – noun
|1.||adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.|
|2.||the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.|
|3.||a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship’s hull.|
In a day and age when anything goes and usually does, one of the first thing to go is personal integrity. Doing what is right because it’s right at all cost is a lost aspect of personal character. We are encouraged more to be a character then to have character. I was raised in a day and age where you were taught to keep your word no matter what the cost. I’ve tried to inspire that in my sons. However, what I’ve seen is a world that not only does not reciprocate it but resents it.
Your life may be the only Bible some people read.
In the Book of Acts there is a story about a married couple named Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11). During this time in the Early Church they took care of one another (what a concept!) by sharing in their wealth and possessions. Ananias and Sapphira had land that they sold and instead of giving the entire amount as they had promised they kept part of it for themselves. When Peter confronted them he didn’t rebuke the fact that they had kept the amount they were chastised for lying about it. The end result was that both Ananias and Sapphira dropped dead at Peter’s feet when he exposed this lack of integrity. It would seem from the description on Acts 5 their hearts simply stopped beating at that moment. There was no integrity in their hearts and therefore it gave out when confronted by the Holy Spirit through Peter. I love what verse 11 says happened after that – So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things. What a Church we would have today if this were still happening as evidenced later on in the Book of Acts where it says that the churches were multiplied and grew from this respect and fear of a Living God (Acts 9:31).
Proverbs 29:25 ( NKJV )
The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.
The Early Church had to rely on one another because of the persecution they experienced. If someone did not keep their word and their promises, like Ananias and Sapphira, it would affect everyone. Fear can be healthy. If we weren’t afraid to put our hands in the fire because of being burned we would continually harm ourselves. How much more so do we harm our souls and relationship with God because we do not have a healthy fear.
Proverbs 11:3 ( NKJV )
The integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.
At the end of the movie Watchmen there is a voice-over narration where the narrator says that the whole world was acting right and getting along because of the fear that the all-powerful all-knowing omnipotent Dr. Manhattan might be watching them. Just think if after a devastating act of God the entire world acted right and did what was right because of the fear someone greater than them was watching. Taking the definition of the word integrity we would see an adherence to a moral code and ethical principles that would preserve our lives as being whole and undiminished in a sound, unimpaired, perfect condition.
Proverbs 10:9 ( NLT )
People with integrity walk safely,
but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.
But, we as Believers do know that Someone is watching us. Unfortunately many no longer believe that there is a price for their actions. It’s not taught from the pulpit anymore that there is a time coming when we will all stand before the Great White Throne and give an account for every word and action in our lives. Over and over again The Bible tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Later on the Lord teaches His disciples to be obedient out of love (John 14:15, 21, 15:10). If we love Him we will do what He says. Such a simple concept is so difficult for so many to do.
Character is higher than intellect.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ask yourself this question – do you have integrity? Is your word worth more than gold or is it worthless? Would you keep your promise even if it hurt to do it? What do would you if thought one was watching? And, then remind yourself that Someone is watching and making note of those choices and the answers to those questions.
2 Chronicles 16:9 ( NKJV )
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro
throughout the whole earth,
to show Himself strong
on behalf of those
whose heart is loyal to Him.
Shalom & Blessings,
Richard J Grund
And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. (Acts 5:12 NKJV)
P.O. Box 713 Windermere, FL 34786-0713