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Categories: Integrity

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You Get Only One Shot at A Life of Integrity

Webster’s dictionary official definition of the word integrity is; “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.”

I can almost see and feel the perspiration coming from inside myself and a whole lot of you as we read these words. Words like, moral and ethical principles, moral character, and…honesty? Doesn’t sound like the world we live in today does it? But that’s what the word integrity means in the dictionary, but it has taken on a whole different meaning in our world and even in the church.

What does it mean to have a moral character? What does it mean to have ethical principles? Where does one see honesty anymore?

The word moral means; “the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong.”

Do you know right from wrong? Do you have a principle or a set of rules that guide you through the maze or what’s right and what’s wrong in this world today?

There are a lot of people in Washington who will give you the principles and rules that they follow, and there are CEO’s and presidents of Banks and large Corporations who will be happy to tell how they divide what’s right and what’s wrong. As a matter of fact, there seems to be a bunch of people who have their own set of rules and principles that they follow according to what they believe is right and wrong, and each and everyone of them is different.

They have to be grounded and based on something. For example, most people will say that it’s wrong to cheat, but just about everyone does cheat at some point or another. One may think it’s OK to cheat on their taxes and another will find nothing wrong with cheating a cashier, when she accidentally gives them the wrong change. The difference, of when these two people think it’s OK to cheat, comes from their moral character. How is our moral character formed?

That’s the million dollar question. I believe it goes all the way back to when we were children. Our parents, and the environment that we were raised in, shapes our moral character, but then you have to look at how your parents were raised and how your grand-parents were raised, and it goes on and on and on.

God says in Numbers 14:18; “‘The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in loyal love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children until the third and fourth generations.” We live in a sinful world and we’re raised by sinful parents and we go about living our sinful lives in the direction and path that we choose, with no regard for no one else except our own selfish desires.

Honesty is the result of ethical principles and moral character.

Now it’s easy to see, how a world that does not acknowledge or even see God, would come to all these destinations, but what about those of us who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ? Those of us who are Philippians 1:21 Christians; “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” What about us, where do we get our moral compass and who do we line it up with?

I was invited to a business networking event, which was being held at a bar-restaurant. I spotted a few people that I knew from church. If I didn’t know who these people were, you would be hard pressed to identify them from the crowd. Who were the Christians and who were not. They all looked, acted, and talked the same way.

Have you ever been at a traffic light and suddenly you had the weirdest sensation, that you were moving? You quickly pressed down harder on the brake peddle, just to make sure you weren’t rolling. If you were to look at something stationary, like the street light pole on the other side of the road, you would easily see that you were really not rolling.

You see, when we fix our energies and attention on something solid, unmovable, and not changing, we can easily get our bearings straight, and not rely on the forever changing feelings and emotions of the world and our own humanity. They are marred and unreliable.

There are people and churches that live their spiritual lives totally depended on miracles, healing’s, prosperity, and health. They are all based on feelings and emotions, and they are walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit. They have just made unto themselves another law that they have to follow.

“Are you so foolish? Although you began with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort?” Galatians 3:3

My friend, only the solid and unmovable Word of God, can be trusted to be your stationary post and compass, to guide and direct your thoughts and minds toward God and the path He has designed for your life.

Spend some time every day in it and and talk to God. He’s just waiting to hear from you, and you know what…it will change your life forever.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not empty, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:8-11

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