INTEGRITY, THE CHOICE BETWEEN CONVENIENCE AND WHAT’S RIGHT
By Josie Prieto

 

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”
 
Is there anyone we can trust? People let us down again and again, because there is often a difference between what they claim to believe and how they actually live. God will never let us down, because he never changes. His promises are as good as his unchanging character.
 
Jesus does not change. God does not change. His love, his truth and his goodness are not controlled by external circumstances or conditions they never waiver. God’s character and the promises he makes are extremely worthy of our trust and commitment. He does what he says, and his covenant love is always dependable.
 
This is key! What can I lean against? What can I trust in? What can I pursue with reckless abandon? So many of us have been burned by relationships, by people going back on their word, claiming that they said something when they did not say it. It can make you distrustful if you’re not careful. But when we come back to the character of God, we realize, “He is the unchanging standard.” I am so glad that this is a constant in my life.
 
Did you know that it is impossible for God to lie?  Titus 1:2 “in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time” He is the ultimately reliable source of hope. His changeless character is the foundation of all of his promises.
 
Whatever he says he will do is as good as done, Hebrews 6:19  “when we hope in his promises, this hope becomes an anchor for the soul, both firm and secure.” 
 
Unlike the people in our lives, God’s yes is always yes, and his no is always no, James 5:12. When God says yes, it stays yes; when he says no, it stays no.
 
This has a negative and positive result. The negative is, there is no getting God to change his mind through convincing or whining. The positive when God makes a promise, he can be counted on to fulfill that word.
 
Much of the heartache we experience is directly related to the unreliability of people. They say one thing and clearly will show their true colors and their true intent. All you have to do is sit around for a bit and it will surely show up.  The hurt however, comes of broken promises from the people in your life.
 
Proverbs accurately speaks about disappointment like this: Proverbs 13:12 “Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around.”
 

God’s actions flow perfectly out of his character: 1 Samuel 15:29 “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind.”

 
There is no possibility of manipulating or bribing or bargaining with God, because he will never compromise his perfect integrity. God himself has testified, Malachi 3:6 “I the Lord do not change.” God’s perfect and constant character allows us to trust in his promises and timing.
 
God is integrity. He does not just act with integrity; integrity is his character. Now how what about you? The scriptures tell us that virtue of integrity points us to consistency between what is inside and what is outside, between belief and behavior, our words and our ways, our attitudes and our actions, our values and our practice.
 
When we look back at Peter when he realizes the power of Jesus before him- he falls to his knees and says in,  Luke 5:8 “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” Peter knows that what has just happened is not natural; it is, in fact, supernatural. Peter is not only aware of Jesus’ power, but of holiness and his own sinfulness. An encounter with holiness is illuminating.
 
God’s holiness becomes a standard to which we can never measure up, and this is helpful for people who so desperately want to fool themselves into thinking they are self-sufficient. We need God and we cannot do it alone.
 
Integrity means “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness, honor, ethics, decency and fairness.” If the degree of a person’s ethics and morality are linked, that person has integrity. If the degree of a person’s ethics and morality are not linked, that person lacks integrity. You can have a high or low ethic. You can be moral or immoral. The choice is yours. But if you want to have integrity, you must choose your ethic and live to match it.
 
This will particularly apply if you are leading people. A leader will have a greater impact on those he or she wishes to lead by the example of the way they are living than what a leader says. A person may forget 90 percent of what a leader says, but he or she will never forget how the leader lives and the integrity they show.
 
1 Timothy 4:15-16 “Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
 

In this life, we will never attain perfection. But there should be growth toward the call God has in your life. We will never attain it here on earth but in eternity, but while here there should be visible progress, that is evident to others.

Integrity will need to become a priority for you today.

2 Corinthians 12:9 “His grace is sufficient, for his power is made perfect in your weakness.”

The God Who Never Changes!