Leith Anderson, a Minnesota pastor, published an excellent book in 1994 titled Winning the Values War: In a Changing Culture, in which he speaks of “The Forgotten Value.” What value was he talking about? Integrity!
Psalm 15:2-5 does a wonderful job of describing a person of integrity. It says, “He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, who . . . honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.”
This psalm really calls for the followers of Christ to evaluate themselves by asking: Is my life integrated so well with God that His values are my values? Or is my life so different from biblical values that it would be difficult to tell whether or not I follow Christ? In other words, does our walk match our talk?
Psalm 15:2-5 is a powerful passage. I encourage you to review and meditate on it. Ask the Lord to show you if there are any areas that you need to improve to more clearly reflect Jesus Christ.
I am a huge fan of sports- particularly football, but lately I have been flabbergasted by all that is going on in the sports world. I am not intending to pass judgment, call people out or point fingers at specific individuals but there seems to be a common theme to the demise of individuals and teams- the issues of integrity and honesty.
We have seen over the past several months in the sports world the consequences of being dishonest and lack of integrity. “Legends” of the fields have fallen, people have been physically and emotionally wounded, lies have been used to cover scandal, trust has been broken. But it is just not in the sports world.
The reality is this: we all have struggled and will struggle with honesty and integrity. It may not be as transparent as the issues we have seen lately, but scripture is clear about how dishonesty can spread, “Whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” – Luke 16:10.
So here is the TWO things that I would tell the fallen “legends” of sports, the people who are trying to justify “minor” lies, and what I would tell myself, family and friends to do if struggling with being dishonest:
- RESTORE YOUR FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD: When we are dishonest, we aren’t able to experience our relationship with the Lord the way God intended. We must admit our sin and receive God’s mercy and forgiveness. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.” John 1:9.
- DO YOUR BEST TO RESTORE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HARMED PERSON: “Confess your sins to one another” James 5:16. I’m not going to lie (haha), this one is pretty hard to do! But the fact of the matter is that the Lord wants us in a right relationship with Himself and others. The way we can do this is by swallowing our pride and sharing with those we have harmed how we have wronged them.
There is a lot more that could be added, God’s word is full of counsel on honesty and integrity, but if you were wanting to be in a right relationship with the Lord and others this is a really good starting point.
Kyle Hasbrouck is the Vice President of Compass – finances God’s way. For more information about Kyle, please click HERE.