by: FCC Staff
Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity
than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
Sometimes we are all tempted to say or do anything for a dollar. The lack of loyalty and integrity in dealing with others is a foolish path indeed. Even if we coat our lives in a whitewash of Christian-sounding platitudes and outward expression of self-righteousness it is foolish to expect God to bless any enterprise based on lies. Being truly humble and walking in integrity, even if it results in poverty in the short term, is wiser than compromising your walk with Christ in the long term.
Jesus encouraged others to live a life of integrity, but those who preferred to compromise their faith with human standards of justice didn’t exactly mesh with that teaching:
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham, yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.
Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?
Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” (John 8:34-47)
This is probably one of the most scathing critiques Jesus ever offers in scripture. But it is true. Lies come from the Devil, and when we speak them, we are speaking his language. We are not acting as God’s children, but rather His enemies when we compromise our integrity. While it may seem like business as usual to lie, cheat, or steal for our own gain in our culture, in the kingdom of heaven this isn’t the case. No one ever got ahead in eternity by lying. And the damage that even small lies can do to a relationship is not worth any amount of financial gain we may reap as a result.
It is truly better to be honest in this life, even if it means we are poor our whole lives on earth. This is just a small prelude to the eternity of our existence. It is very short-sighted to want to exchange our birthright on Christ for anything as fleeting and temporary as money or prestige in this life.
So today, let’s focus on our “long term goals” and choose to walk in integrity before God. Being known as men and women of honor is an important part of our witness to the world, and when that trust is damaged, it is hard to get back.
Prayer for Today:
Father, watch over me today and help me to follow you in integrity. Jesus, teach me by your example of how the truth will set me free, and not be tempted to enslave myself to the sin of lies. By your Holy Spirit encourage me to be honest and forthright, so I can be a useful servant in your kingdom. Amen.