For many of you, when I say the name Job you immediately think of a man in the Bible that lost everything and eventually was blessed because he wouldn't forsake God. The book of Job in the Bible is a fascinating story. But if all we ever knew about Job was what we read in the very first verse of the very first chapter, we would know enough to admire this man.
In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil (Job 1:1). Notice he was blameless. He was honest. He had a holy and healthy fear and respect for Almighty God. He stayed away from things connected to evil. In other words, Job had integrity.
Oh how we lack integrity in our culture today. We've renamed sin so that a lie is no longer a lie but a slight fudging of details in order to preserve feelings or gain acceptance. Adultery is no longer adultery but an innocent little fling on the side. Stealing is no longer stealing but rather a taking of what was rightfully mine in the first place. However, when we have steadfast integrity, we begin to affect people for Jesus and we build a Godly legacy to leave for our children and our children's children.
Some truths about integrity:
- Integrity is maintaining a Godly perspective on everything that happens in our life. It's easy to get self-absorbed and lose sight of what matters in life. When tough times come it's easy to feel sorry for ourselves and sulk instead of seeing the potential for our situation to strengthen our faith, teach us more about God and ourselves, and see the greater purpose and plan that God has for us. Integrity demands that we abide in Jesus and not doubt God's Holy Word. Integrity avoids arrogance and pride and keeps a healthy perspective on who God is and who we are.
- Integrity is not about perfection; it's about character. In other words it's not about living a sinless life. It's about recognizing one's own sin, turning from that sin, and facing the consequences of sin in a way that is honorable and open to God's will. Many times when we mess up, we simply want to confess our sin, seek forgiveness and move on as if nothing happened. I was once counseling someone who had broken the law. He was arrested and issued a court date. In the mean time, he recognized his need for Jesus and got saved. Several months later in court he was sentenced: a hefty fine, community service and mandatory rehab. Initially my friend was upset. He thought once he became a Christian all of his problems would magically disappear. Not so. Eventually he faced his sentence with integrity and God began to teach this young man valuable life lessons. Today that man in influencing many for Jesus Christ and helping those who struggle with the same things he struggled with.
- Integrity opens the door for us to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When others see us walking in truth and having integrity, they respect us and will be much more apt to listen to us. We have awesome opportunities to influence those around us when we walk with integrity.
In this day when steadfast integrity is so rare, will you walk with integrity? Will you hold steadfast to living a life that others see Christ in you? For more on this, watch the full message.