Psalm 26:11, “As for me, I will walk in my integrity”
Matthew 7:12, “Whatever you want me to do to you, do also to them”
I don’t like the reality shows on television; however, the final episode of the 2002 TV program “Survivor: Africa” is worth mentioning. The wrap-up special focused on the final contestants. The show’s host Jeff Probst said that the victor won “mostly by sticking with his principles.” The winner of Survivor: Africa later explained that he wanted to win while retaining “dignity and self-respect.” He elaborated that you don’t have to lie, cheat, or do underhanded things to win. You can be competitive, yet still be truthful and nice. In short, he permitted no discrepancy between image and reality.
In the book of Acts you can read about Ananias and Sapphira, who did have a gap between what they wanted to be known for and who they really were (Acts 5:1-11). Satan filled their hearts with a deceptive plan. They sold a piece of property and brought just a portion of the money to the apostles, while pretending they were giving all the proceeds from the sale. They wanted to be recognized as a generous couple, but they were not what they appeared to be. This gap caused them to lie to the Holy Spirit and to the faith community. However, they paid a terrible price – death. Thus, their example stands as a stark warning to all born again believers who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior of their life.
The story has been told about an owner of a company who was talking with one of his managers about a certain employee who was stealing from the company. The owner, who was a follower of Christ, asked, “What do you think we should do with him?” “Give him the ax!” replied the manager. “Suppose he admits his wrong-doing and agrees to pay for what he’s stolen,” said the owner. “Why not let him keep his job? Isn’t that how you would want to be treated?” “Well, yeah,” said the manger, “but that’s not the real world!” My friend, Jesus calls us to follow the rules of His world, which is the real world.
His rules demand our integrity, responsibility, and accountability. When they are practiced, employees become more dependable and fulfilled. And employers make their workers’ welfare as important as making a profit. The result? More people stay off welfare rolls and out of unemployment lines. The apostle Paul had some advice for workers and employers. He urged workers to carry out their duties “as bondservants of Christ, … as to the Lord, and not to men” (Ephesians 6:6-7). And he also instructed masters not to threaten their servants, reminding them that their Master shows no partiality (v. 9). So what about us? Are we living in the real world by the rules Jesus gave us? Always remember that integrity can be communicated – when we are true to the Lord everywhere and at all times.
There is no legacy as rich as integrity.