God has also written to His children and much of that message has to do with integrity.
- “The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them” (Proverbs 11:3, c.f. Proverbs 10:9).
- “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool” (Proverbs 19:1, c.f. Proverbs 28:6).
- “in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you” (Titus 2:7-8).
The highest governing body in Israel was the Sanhedrin, yet Matthew tells how they “sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death” (Matthew 26:59). The men who sat as judges over Israel were to those of the utmost character, yet they easily cast aside the eighth commandment when it suit them (“You shall not bear false witness”, Exodus 20:16). Jesus warned His disciples, “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). It is no surprise then to see the Sanhedrin treating Christians the same way it treated Jesus. In Acts 6 they “set up false witnesses who said, “This man does not cease to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law” (6:13). It is no surprise that Jesus said of this people, “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me” (Matthew 15:8).
After the Civil War it is said that Robert E. Lee was approached by a state lottery for the use of his name. They agreed to pay him very generously for his cooperation, but he replied, “Gentlemen, my name is all I have left, and it is not for sale.” Christians wear the name of Christ and it is precious. We must never compromise who we are. The church needs those who “hold fast to integrity” (Job 2:3, c.f. Job 2:9,4:6, 27:5, 31:6). Jesus made a statement, which not only speaks of salvation, but also implies integrity. He said, "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)
- Josh Allen (Pikeville, KY)