Masters Plan

Go Therefore and Make Disciples

INTEGRITY

Our Relationship WIth Others

INTEGRITY

Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You.     Psalm 25:21

The most famous story about lying in American history is the story of George Washington cutting down a cherry tree.  His father asked him who did it.  George is supposed to have said, “I cannot tell a lie; it was me.” That was in the biography written by Parson Weems in the nineteenth century—he made it up.  The most famous story about not lying in America was a lie.

Integrity issues come up all the time.  Politicians spin their promises, telemarketers try to scam the elderly, white-collar workers commit a variety of crimes, job seekers pad their resumes, repair shops pad their bills, students steal essays from the internet for school, spouses lie to each other about money or fidelity, teenagers lie to their parents about where they’ve been, and parents break promises they make to their children.  People do these things even though they know what the Scriptures say: “Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor.” “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.”  “The Lord abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight.”

We want to follow the rules, but we are prepared to break them if we think we can get away with it and if that’s what it takes for us to win.  We are ready to cheat if that’s what “doing well” at the game requires.  The journey to integrity requires the cultivation of a desire:  I must want to be good more than I want to do well.  It requires a decision: I will choose to play with integrity and lose rather than cheat and win.  It requires a belief: I cannot succeed in what I do and fail in who I am.  Psychologist Martin Seligman writes:

“The belief that we can rely on shortcuts to happiness, joy, rapture, comfort, and ecstasy, rather than be entitled to these feelings by exercise of personal strengths and virtues, leads to legions of people who, in the middle of great wealth, are starving spiritually.  Positive emotion alienated from the exercise of character leads to emptiness, to inauthenticity, to depression, and, as we age, to the gnawing realization that we are fidgeting until we die.”

Our problem generally is not that we don’t know the rules, but that we don’t live what we already know.  A man is being tailgated by a woman who is in a hurry.  He comes to an intersection, and when the light turns yellow, he hits the brakes.  The woman behind him goes ballistic.  She honks her horn at him; she yells her frustration in no uncertain terms; she rants and gestures.  While she is in mid-rant, someone taps on her window.  She looks up and sees a policeman.  He invites her out of her car and takes her to the station where she is searched and fingerprinted and put in a cell.  After a couple of hours, she is released, and the arresting officer gives her her personal effects, saying, “I’m very sorry for the mistake, ma’am.  I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, using bad gestures and bad language.  I noticed the ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ bumper sticker, the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday School’ window sign, the Christian fish emblem on your trunk, and I naturally assumed you had stolen the car.”   

The world gets pretty tired of people who have Christian bumper stickers on their cars, Christian fish signs on their trunks, Christian books on their shelves, Christian stations on their radios, Christian jewelry around their necks, Christian videos for their kids, and Christian magazines for their coffee tables but don’t actually have the life of Jesus in their bones or the love of Jesus in their hearts.

                                      John Ortberg, When The Game Is Over It All Goes Back In The Box

 

Good and evil both increase at compound interest.  That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance.  

                                       C S Lewis

HMMM {QUESTIONS}

  • Where are you most tempted in your life to cut corners and maybe compromise on what you know is best or right?
  • What are some small things in your life that have the potential to create devastation in your life if left unchecked?
  • How will you apply the truths in this topic to your life this week?  Be specific.

Additional Quotes

Real integrity stays in place whether the test is adversity or prosperity.   Chuck Swindoll

It matters enormously if I alienate anyone from the truth.     C S Lewis

Honesty has a beautiful and refreshing simplicity about it. No ulterior motives. No hidden meanings. An absence of hypocrisy, duplicity, political games, and verbal superficiality. As honesty and real integrity characterize our lives, there will be no need to manipulate others.        Chuck Swindoll

verses related to this topic

  • Leviticus 19:11

    Leviticus 19:11

    You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.

  • Psalm 15:1-2

    Psalm 15:1-2

    O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart.

  • Psalm 25:21

    Psalm 25:21

    Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You.

  • Psalm 101:7

    Psalm 101:7

    He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house; he who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me.

  • Proverbs 2:7

    Proverbs 2:7

    He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,

  • Proverbs 10:9

    Proverbs 10:9

    He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out.

  • Proverbs 12:22

    Proverbs 12:22

    Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are His delight.

  • Proverbs 19:21

    Proverbs 19:21

    Many plans are in a man's heart, but the counsel of the Lord will stand.

  • Zechariah 8:16-17

    Zechariah 8:16-17

    “These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,” declares the Lord.

  • Malachi 2:6

    Malachi 2:6

    True instruction was in his mouth and unrighteousness was not found on his lips; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many back from iniquity.

  • Matthew 5:33-37

    Matthew 5:33-37

    “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.”

  • Ephesians 4:14-15

    Ephesians 4:14-15

    As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,

  • Ephesians 4:25

    Ephesians 4:25

    Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

  • Ephesians 6:14

    Ephesians 6:14

    Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

  • Colossians 3:9

    Colossians 3:9

    Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,

books related to this topic

  • When the Game is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box

    When the Game is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box

    John Ortberg points out that being the Master of the Board is not the point; being rich toward God is. Winning the game of life on Earth is a temporary victory; loving God and other people with all our hearts is an eternal one.

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