Becoming a person of Integrity 2016
Doing the right thing doesn’t always feel good.
Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.
The time is always right to do the right thing.
Right is right even when everyone is against it
and wrong is wrong even when everyone is for it.
It’s never too late to do the right thing.
Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.
C. S. Lewis
Integrity starts in the heart. Jesus taught “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) Whatever is on the inside is just going to come to the outside.
Solomon said in “As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.” (Proverbs 27:19) The heart by itself is easily lured into deceit and sin. Jeremiah said, “A man can’t trust his own heart.” And that’s true. But you see the Christian has living in his heart the Spirit of God. And the Spirit of God takes up residence in a Christian for the purpose of making them more Christ like and to bear the fruit we read about in Galatians 5 of love and joy and peace and faithfulness and self control. Integrity begins in the heart and God equips the Christian to have a heart that can have it. Therefore, we need to guard our hearts. Before we better guard what we let in, we’d better guard what we keep out. Integrity begins in the heart.
Acts 10:38 “…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”
Jesus is our ultimate example of always doing the right thing. He lived his life to obey the father in every way, and he was always doing good everywhere he went. As Christians and his followers, we should likewise seek to do the right thing in every circumstance.
Another example of a man of integrity is Daniel. Remember Daniel? Daniel was a captive prince first under the Babylonians and then under the Persians. “Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so.” It goes on to say, “They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, ‘We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.’” (Daniel 6:3)
Now that’s integrity. Daniel was genuine, he was honest, he was righteous. He was consistent in his personal life and in his professional life. These men even hired spies to watch him for days on end to see if they could catch him in any breach of his integrity. By the way, I don’t know if Daniel knew that he was being spied upon, but I do know that Daniel was not unaccustomed to being watched. For Daniel lived his life knowing that everyday that God was there with me looking at him 24 hours a day whether anybody else was there or not. The spies reported, “there’s nothing there and the only way you’re ever going to trap this man is if you can find some way to trap him on the basis of his faith.” So they set up a trap. They went to Darius the king and they tickled his ears [flattered him]. They said, “Darius, we want to make you a god for a month.” Darius liked that idea. He had an ego. Therefore for the next 30 days, the only way anybody can pray, was to pray to him.”
“Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” (Daniel 6:10) It didn’t stop a thing.
The rest of the story. He was caught in the trap and they threw Daniel into the lion’s den. “That is a great story,” because it was the story of a man who kept his integrity. That’s integrity that begins in the heart.
I’m asking God to raise up more men and women of integrity in 2016.
I’m praying that I will be known as a woman of Integrity.