Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- June 11, 2011
“Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money.” Micah 3:11
Integrity may be your greatest value that is not itemized on your balance sheet, and it is not for sale with serious followers of the Lord. Like Esau selling his birthright (Genesis 25:25-34), you can let your appetites lead you to exchange your integrity for instant gratification, but it’s a lopsided loss to let go of a lifetime of faithfulness for a moment of problematic pleasure.
Moreover, the love of money makes you vulnerable to losing your integrity (1 Timothy 6:10). Money can maneuver your motives into a less than desirable position, so be sure not to masquerade your good works around a drive for wealth. You cannot reason your way around wrong methods of obtaining money, even for the sake of worthy outcomes. You do not have to compromise your God-given convictions to grow your net worth.
Effective leaders, in the long run, are given respect, trust, and goodwill because of their position, authority, and track record of integrity. How much is your credibility worth? Certainly it is more valuable than anything money can buy (Proverbs 22:1). Indeed, integrity is being true to yourself and to God’s calling on your life, so be who you are in Him. Integrity does not have to prove itself.
Rather, it rests in being itself. Align your doing around your being, for this integration is the essence of integrity. Furthermore, if you have lost your integrity, it can be found in Christ. So, go to Him in honesty and humility. Be forthright with your heavenly Father about your failures and blown opportunities. Let Him love you through this time of transition and rebuilding of trust.
It will take time for those who have been hurt to begin healing and reconciliation. But the longer you prove to yourself and others that you are the real deal, the more your integrity will blossom. A track record of faithfulness fertilizes the roots of integrity and produces lasting fruit. Cultivate integrity through prayer and service, then watch it grow.
Take the time to do what you say you will do, because follow-through and consistency create credibility. Invest in others so they don’t feel you have used them merely to accomplish your agenda. Integrity insists on doing what’s right, in the right way, and at the right time. Integrity does not belittle others or get caught up in the seduction of stuff.
Integrity gains traction through gratitude for God’s grace, instead of losing its footing on money’s ledge of allegiance. Integrity provides peace and stability, and is found by walking with your Lord. “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out” (Proverbs 10:9). Therefore, gain it, retain it, and do not sell it out at any price.
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