Summary: This sermon allows christians to explore our integrity, and how our lives measure up to what we preach.
Aloha I Ke Akua Christian Fellowship
Sunday Morning Service
Senior Pastor Paul A. Kaiwi, Jr. MD
Helene Hall, Hana, Hawaii
October 8, 2006
Do we have integrity? What are we willing to do for $10,000,000?
In the United States of America…
25% Would abandon their entire family
25% Would abandon their church
23% Would become prostitutes for a week or more
16% Would give up their American citizenships
16% Would leave their spouses
10% Would withhold testimony and let a murderer go free
7% Would murder a stranger
3% Would put their children up for adoption
James Patterson and Peter Kim, The Day America Told the Truth, 1991.
What happened to our American integrity? Do we have integrity?
Let’s look at what integrity means in the dictionary.
Webster Dictionary- Integrity: The steadfast adherence to moral values and truth.
Simply put, integrity is more than just telling the truth. Integrity is doing what we said we would do. Integrity means keeping our word. Integrity means that our words & our actions are the same. In other words, we practice what we preach.
Today, we will learn about the biblical definition of integrity. And, as a result, it is my hope that we will all be encouraged to live by that integrity.
Matthew 5:33-37 NIV
33"Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ’Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ 34But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37Simply let your ’Yes’ be ’Yes,’ and your ’No,’ ’No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
Illustration: So insecure were the ancient Chinese of their enemies on the north side that they built the Great Wall of China, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. It was so high they knew no one could climb over it and so thick that nothing could break it down. Then they settled back to enjoy their security.
But during the first 100 years of the wall’s existence, China was invaded 3 times. And not once did the enemy break down the wall or climb over its top. Each time the enemy simply bribed a gatekeeper with money and marched right through the gates. According to the historians, the Chinese were so busy relying upon the great wall of stone, that they forgot to teach their children about integrity. Integrity for their country, culture, and each other.
Americans are no different. Do we have integrity? Do our children have integrity?
Joke: Four high school boys were late to their morning class one day and, thus missed the scheduled mid-term exam. They entered the classroom and told their teacher they were late due to a flat tire. The teacher smiled and told them it was too bad they were late because they had missed the mid-term exam that morning. But she was willing to let them make it up. She gave them each a piece of paper and a pencil and sent them to the four corners of the room. Then she told them they would pass if they could answer just one question: Which tire was flat?
Do we have integrity? Do our youths have integrity?
Song: Written by Jamie O’Hara 1985
Grampa, tell me ‘bout the good old days
Sometimes it feels like, the world’s gone crazy.
Grampa, take me back to yesterday
When the lines between right and wrong, didn’t seem so hazy.
Did lovers really fall in love to stay
And stand beside each other come what may
Was a promise really something people kept
Not just something they would say, and then forget
Did families really bow their heads to pray
Did daddies really never go away
Oh, Grampa, tell me ‘bout the good old days
The foundations of our mighty country are being shaken because of our lack of integrity. The Foundations of Christianity are crumbling because of our lack of integrity. It is time that the Church rise up and take our place in the ranks of integrity.
Looking for people of integrity in this generation perhaps could be compared to searching for a needle in a haystack…or a grain of salt in the sands of this beautiful Hana beach.
True men and women of integrity are very hard to find. Let us look within and evaluate ourselves.
Am I a person of integrity?
Am I a Pastor of integrity?
Are you a person of integrity?
Is this a church of integrity?
Are our lives characterized by integrity?