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|It means that you are a person that does what you say you will do.|
Hanani, Nehemiahs brother, was put in charge of Jerusalem because he was a man of integrity (Nehemiah 7:2). Integrity and fear of God were the key character traits that qualified these leaders to govern Jerusalem. John Wooden, the great basketball coach of UCLA said, Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. Proverbs 11:3 says, The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. Leaders with integrity can be trusted to carry out their work.
Author Richard C. Halverson said:
Sure we believe in freedom of speech. Youve got the right to say anything you like. But others dont have to listen! Theyre under no obligation to tune you in; when they do, they can also tune you out anytime they wish. Your right to speak is guaranteedbut you must earn the right to be listened to. It depends solely on your integrity. Integrity is the prerequisite to acceptance. If you expect to be paid attention to, back it up with your life. Let your walk correspond to your talk. This is fundamental to your witness for Christ. Many so-called Christians listen too little, talk too much, and live lives that contradict what they say. Their witness betrays Christ and alienates those to whom they speak. Jesus said, Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?
Let me ask a question. What will it take for you to compromise your integrity? If you have a price, you need to know that someone will be willing to pay it your boss, your so-called friends, maybe your family, and for sure the devil. If your integrity is for sale, someone will be ready, willing and able to buy it.
What will it take? Power? Prestige? Money? Sex? A promotion? Acceptance? Approval? Whatever your price is, someone will pay it. Maintaining your integrity requires that we put a firm stake in the ground and say with determination, This is it. The buck stops here. I will play by the rules, I will stop making excuses, and I will make my private life consistent with my public life.
If you want to narrow the gap between the way things are in your life and the way things ought to be, you have got to become a person who cannot be bought. You have to become a person of integrity. There will always be many reasons why you can compromise your integrity, but there will never be a good reason.
Let us as Christian leaders take the stand that Job took and say with confidence, As long as I have life within me, and breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit. Till I die, I will not deny my integrity. I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live (Job 27:3-6).
Dear Lord, we pray for your strength. We pray for your protection from the evil one. We know he is willing to pay our price for our integrity, but we pray for your hedge of protection around our lives and the lives of our family. May we seek to do your will in all that we do, and keep a firm distance away from any impropriety in our lives or situations that could lead us to compromise the integrity that we all hold dear. Amen.
HEARTLIGHT® Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
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