Sunday, September 20, 2009

True Integrity

Most people in the world today can agree that integrity is an adherence to moral and ethical principles.  Sadly, we live in a world today where moral principles are slipping away.   Fewer and fewer people have spiritual morals that guide them in the choices that they make.  
Even "Christians"  will put their morals aside in order to fit in - whether it be in the work place, school, or even at home.  One of the traits of a follower of Christ is true integrity.  Many people will say they have integrity but when faced with peer pressure or a risk of being made fun of, they will put it aside in order to fit in.  I myself have been guilty of this, as I'm sure you have been too.
We have many biblical examples of people who displayed excellent integrity.  
In the book of Daniel we are introduced to 3 characters; Shadrach, Meshach, & Abed-Nego.  As the story shows us, these three men were threatened with a horrible death if they didn't bow down and worship the golden idol that King Nebuchadnezzar had made. 
Daniel 3:15 "... but if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace."  
Stop for a minute and put yourself in their shoes.  If somebody wanted you to do something you knew was wrong and they told you, "If you don't do this... I'll throw you in a pit of fire..."   What would you do???  
This is how Shadrach, Meshach, & Abed-Nego responded:
v. 17 "If that is the case, OUR GOD whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us from your hand, oh king." 
And as we remember the rest of the story, that is exactly what God did - He delivered them out of the fiery pit.  One important thing to see is the great rewards that were brought about from the three men's integrity.  
Because of their integrity and faith, God delivered them, but in addition, their integrity led Nebuchadnezzar praising God.  
Here is today's lesson:  When we are put in a situation to sacrifice our morals and principles in order to fit in or make somebody else happy - DON'T DO IT.   Now I'm sure a lot of people will have some kind of argument like, "Well, sure I don't agree with the things my boss does or says, but in order to get ahead at this company I have to agree with the things he says!"   
Take a step back for a second.   Who is more important in this world;  your boss or your LORD and Savior?   There is nothing more valuable to us than our souls.  And when we put our integrity aside we run the risk of our inheritance in Heaven.  Don't forget; if we miss Heaven - we've missed it all.
Always be true to God - and just like with the 3 men from Daniel chapter 3, there will always be amazing results.  

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