Claire L. Eva, Assistant Director, General Conference Stewardship Ministries
Summary: There is no place we decry manipulation and lack of integrity more than in the
John had to choose. As conference treasurer, should he go along with his president’s plan to manipulate church funds or tell the truth and perhaps lose his job? Fortunately, John’s conviction won out and he revealed the plan. But the president denied the allegation and John eventually lost his job. ?What good was integrity in his situation?? you might say.
?We exercise integrity, not to get what we want, but to be what we want. Integrity is not essentially about winning?. It’s about being honorable, not as a success strategy, but a life choice? (What Good is Integrity? by Michael Josephson at www.charactercounts.org).
There is no place we decry manipulation and lack of integrity more than in the Church of Jesus Christ. But it happens. Deceitfulness, especially garbed in piety, is abhorrent to God (Ps 5:4-6). How can we determine to travel the ?high road? of integrity? We must always rely on the One who not only shows us the way to that road, but who also promises to empower us and keep us on it.
What is the world’s greatest need? ?Men who will not be bought or sold, men who ... are true and honest? (Education, p. 57). True to principles of openness and honesty, loving and caring for the welfare of others—this means not asking anyone to take a course of action that will sear his conscience.
In the book Men of Character, Tom Sirotnak writes of Jacob’s lack of integrity: ?Throughout his life, Jacob had gotten away with trickery so often; it was his standard operating procedure. But now the Lord said, ?I am going to see how badly he wants to live for me. How badly does he really want my blessing and to fulfill my purpose?’ He had to wrestle for his destiny with the Almighty?.
?The mark of a real man of God is the one who walks with a spiritual limp. It proves he has been in the battle?. Maturity doesn’t come with age but with striving to know the Lord, submission to the level of knowledge he has revealed to you, and acceptance of responsibility? (p. 19).
If we have not lived life with the kind of integrity we know to be honorable, there is still today. Today we may wrestle with God; today we may receive a new name—and bearing that new name, our personal integrity will come to life!