Posts Tagged ‘integrity’

verse 10: “Men of bloodshed hate the blameless, But the upright are concerned for his life.”

“Oh no, what we gonna do?
The king likes Daniel more than me and you.
Oh no, what we gonna do?
We gotta get him out of here.”
The wisemen’s song from the VeggieTales cartoon “Where’s God When I’m Scared?”

I don’t think I will soon forget the “wisemen’s” song from the VeggieTales rendition of the story of Daniel and the lions’ den. The message was easy to see; the wisemen hated Daniel because he was able to interpret King Darius’s dream (through the divine help of God), and now Darius favored his counsel over theirs. They wanted revenge, but Daniel lived his life holy and with integrity, and they had to resort to trickery just to show Daniel “breaking the law”.

Jesus Christ, when he walked this earth in human form, lived a perfect life. The religious leaders of the day wanted to get rid of Him; His holy life and ministry pointed out the sins in their own lives, and they couldn’t stand the truth.

When you have given your life to Jesus, you’re going to have a big ol’ bull’s-eye painted on your back, that the devil will take aim at daily with his fiery arrows. But take heart….Jesus already took those arrows for you…and extinguished them.

Have a great day in Him!

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verse 7: “Excellent speech is not fitting for a fool, Much less are lying lips to a prince.”

Remember the old political joke: “When can you tell when a politician is lying? His lips move.” Though we mostly chuckle at that one-liner, it’s somewhat of an indictment in that most folks think politicians are not trustworthy. In some cases, politicians do get elected and for whatever reasons, fulfill or don’t fulfill their campaign promises. It’s sad when we expect lack of integrity in some occupations; it’s even worse when we find it in people who have, up to the point of failure, had integrity.

The Holman concordance’s commentary on this verse is one on trustworthiness. Nothing hurts a person like being lied to or betrayed. We come to expect it from people with that reputation; we are let down when we see it in people who have earned our trust.

The old story goes about a young warrior who ascended a mountain to prove his warrior test of manhood. As he neared the top, it grew colder and colder. At the top, he paused to rest before his journey back down. His attention was drawn to the ground near him, where he saw a snake shivering in the cold, near death. “Please, young warrior, carry me down to the valley, so that I may live. I am too cold to make the journey by myself, and if I don’t warm up soon, I will die!” said the snake. The young warrior at first refused, knowing that snakes bite people. “Oh no, I promise I will not harm you; just carry me down, please!” pleaded the snake. The young warrior took pity on the shivering, half-dead animal; he picked it up, put it under his cloak, and journeyed back down the mountain. Once at the base of the mountain, where the valley was warm, he put the snake on the ground gently. Before he could withdraw his hand, the snake whipped around, bit him, and wriggled away for a few feet. Shocked, the young warrior said, “You gave me your word you would not harm me!” To which the snake, now safely away from the warrior, said, “Foolish young warrior; you knew what I was when you picked me up!”

We expect lies from liars. If you have a reputation of integrity, live up to it. Be the example that Jesus Christ demonstrated we should be.

Something to think about.

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verse 27: “He who profits illicitly troubles his own house, But he who hates bribes will live.”

There are many stories about those who cut corners, who try ‘the easy way’ of making a ‘fast’ buck, who break the rules to turn a fast profit. Recent news in politics and in sports smack of illegal money. The plot lines of several recent police dramas on TV scream “torn from today’s headlines”! Sometimes those writers don’t have to create a fictitious story; they can just read the newspaper for their ideas! Those people who do choose to gamble with the odds soon find out that the consequences of their actions don’t just impact them…but their families as well.

Integrity seems to be a rare quality these days. Those who can stand honestly and resist the temptation to even give in a little (funny as it sounds, but bribes are sometimes seen as only “little” things by those who deal in them) will “avoid trouble” (Holman concordance on Proverbs, p. 247). So, why invite trouble in the first place?

Something to think about.

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Proverbs 2:7-10

verse 7: “He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,”

I have a footnote in my Ryrie Bible that states “Wisdom is God-given, not the result of mere human effort or ability (cf 1 Kings 3:ff; James 1:5).” We need to pursue wisdom, but it is God who gives it!

Maybe it’s because of the recent study I went through on the armor of God, but the word “shield” jumped out at me here. There have been several famous celebrities in the news in recent years whose formerly stellar reputations have been shattered due to one moment of bad judgment. Yes, if you seek God’s forgiveness and repent, He will forgive you. You still have to rebuild the trust others had in you, because it had been hurt. Continually walking in integrity isn’t easy, but it is well worth it.

I have a fellow church member who is an avid runner. Whenever I made it to the track, I always…always saw him there, just loping like a deer, passing me, and making his speed look easy! I sometimes thought, you know, he could afford to take a day or two off…he’s in great shape, a missed day or two wouldn’t hurt him! But then I realize why he keeps doing his routine, day after day; the continual discipline of maintaining the regimen keeps him in good shape. That’s the same way with integrity: continually walking in integrity preserves your reputation, and God Himself becomes a shield to you in protecting you as well. But you’ve got to walk the walk!

Have a blessed day!

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