Monday, September 4, 2017
Today’s blog is about Integrity. What is integrity? The dictionary says it is the “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values.” It can also be described by these adjectives: character, decency, goodness, righteousness, virtue, honesty, and morality. Although God’s children are far from being perfect and are capable of really messing things up from time to time, the truth is that they all should be known by these things. If others have used these nice words to describe you at one time or another, I congratulate you for being the kind of person God expects you to be.
In the well known biblical story of Job, it was obvious he was a man of integrity. Despite suffering calamities very few in this world will ever experience, he maintained his integrity. With a broken heart and trembling lips, he uttered: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21) Because our old nature is still around, it is at times of hard trials and testing that our integrity can quickly go South. Such was the case with Job’s wife. In fact, she apparently was upset even with him. That is why she lashed out at him saying: “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Why don’t you just curse God and die!” (Job 2:9) Poor Job! The last thing he needed to hear at the lowest point in his life was this. I wonder what she felt like after God eventually gave them twice as much more than what they ever had.
I am of the opinion that, even if we don’t carry it through, our first thought when we go through such an ordeal is to think like Job’s wife. I have a question for you. You can raise your hand if you want, anyhow no one is watching. When God has not answered a special petition or else has done the opposite of what you prayed for, or when you feel that He has let you down, how often has this been your first thought?: “Ok, just for that, I’m really going to sin.” I know. This also is a sign of immaturity, acting like children, if you will. Sadly, many of God’s children have acted on that foolish thought. In fact, you may know of one or two who have done just that. Some, as of now, have not returned. Their lifestyle is very different then when they were close to God. I do believe, however, that if they are God’s true children, they will eventually come back, whether willingly or unwillingly. The phrase in Spanish that applies here is: “por las buenas o por las malas.” If they never come back, it just may be that they were never truly His in the first place. John wrote about folks like these saying: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us. “ (1 John 2:19) If there is one thing you never want to lose, its your integrity. Hold on to it. The Lord will help you.
God’s promise for today: (Psalm 34:19 NLT) “The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.”