And I would add to my title…even when it isn’t popular or convenient. As society has changed from one with morals and values to one where anything goes, integrity has gone! I am constantly shocked at people who call themselves Christians doing work “under the table” and hiding money so they aren’t taxed. The Bible is clear on this: Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar (Mark 12:17).
I don’t like the IRS any more than you, but every cent my business gets is accounted for…nothing is put aside or not included. Why? This is integrity…doing the right thing when it isn’t popular or convenient. How tempting to just tuck some cash in my pocket and not record it, but I log it.
In Mark 12:17, Jesus was teaching a lesson of living in the world but not becoming of it. We must never, ever forsake our morals, values, and Christian beliefs. Folks, we are becoming of the world! We should be the gold standard…the example of how being a Christian is different. When we are doing the same things as everyone else, we are part of the masses not the chosen.
Satan is sneaky. He doesn’t ask you to steal $10,000 from your employer or rob a bank, but he will make you feel like lying about your finances is okay. “Everyone does cash under the table” is a word from the devil himself! That is how the slippery slopes starts. We convince ourselves it is okay because everyone else is doing it, but then before we know it, we are full-on into a sinful life, and put everything in jeopardy.
Being a person of integrity can be inconvenient in this world of hustle, bustle, and selfishness. On several occasions, a clerk or checker has given me more cash back than was correct, and I pointed it out. We would have to back track, count, and correct. To me, this is the right thing to do. What says you? I hope you don’t feel like I’m just a goody-two-shoes and that no one else would do it because that would mean things are far worse than I ever imagined.
Our relationship with Christ isn’t one sided. We don’t just take the blessings God gives us, but we must be Jesus followers. This requires us to live above the line and strive to be more like Jesus and less like our flawed human selves.
The Bible is our instruction manual, and if you are finding yourself falling into the trap of the world’s view on things, please spend more time in it. God is clear and direct on how we should behave, and in the end, we will be held accountable. Just because we accept the gift and have been forgiven doesn’t mean we can live however we want.
Our relationship with Christ should inspire us to be better! We should want to live an extraordinary life of integrity because He gave His life for us. He died a painful death on the cross so that we may live. For me, that incredible gift makes me want to be my best for Him. And when we are walking with Him and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, we make better decisions. The old ways pass, and we embrace the new!
I challenge you to look at your life and your level of integrity. If you cannot be “that good,” then you aren’t walking with God as you should. You are doing your own thing and listening to what the world is telling you. You’ve let satan in where only God should reside. The good news is God already knows and is ready to forgive you!
We aren’t asked to be perfect, but we should be doing things differently. We should be fired up and filled up with the Holy Spirit because remember, it isn’t just about your life being saved. God loves you, but He always wants you to love others and bring them to Him. I think we’ve forgotten that part of the equation.
When Jesus speaks of His return to gather His people, He tells us things will get extremely dark, hard, and painful. His intent is to allow plenty of time for the lost to find Him, but He isn’t here just yet…we are. We are His messengers for only a while, and we need to take it seriously.
We can never go wrong with spending more time reading His word, and every day, we should seek Him in prayer. Connect with others who are committed to their Christian walk, not just PIBOs at church (present in body only).
I’ve been a Christian since I was 13 when I lost my earthly father. Perhaps I am a zealot because I needed my Heavenly Father in my life, but don’t we all? We are all broken and in need of healing. Jesus came to heal the sick, not the healthy. I’d love to chat with you, and if you need some accountability on your faith walk, I’ll be there for you.