Summary: Biblical discussion on topic of integrity
Integrity: Walk the Talk
Integrity is tough to find these days. Osama Bin Laden says he is innocent, and now we have video evidence that he was indeed behind the Sept.11 attacks. The new Notre Dame football coach who was just hired, worked all of five days, and is now out of the game cause he padded his resume i.e. he lied.
How many of us have heard of or hurt by scams? Brux Austin, the editor of Texas Business magazine, has written rather despairingly: "What is going on in North America?. . .We have no built-in beliefs, no ethical boundaries. `Cheat on your taxes, just don’t get caught. Cheat on your wife, just don’t get AIDS.’ Our high-tech society," he writes, "has given us everything - everything but a conscience," It appears integrity is a mangled casualty of our times.
There is a terrible price to pay for the lack of integrity:
So fearful were the ancient Chinese of their enemies on the north 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, & 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. Not once did the enemy break down the wall or climb over its top. Each time they bribed a gatekeeper & marched right through the gates. According to the historians, the Chinese were so busy relying upon the walls of stone that they forgot to teach integrity to their children.
If we say we follow Christ, we need to live with integrity …
A. Walk the Talk. 1 John 2:6
Matthew 22:16 (NIV)
“Teacher we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God
in accordance with the truth. You are not swayed by men, because you pay no
attention to who they are.”
i. Who said this?
i. Why is it important we know who made the above statement?
i. What are the implications for us?
Scientists now say that a series of slits, not a giant gash, sank the Titanic. The opulent, 900-foot cruise ship sank in 1912 on its first voyage, from England to New York. Fifteen hundred people died in the worst maritime disaster of the time.
The most widely held theory was that the ship hit an iceberg, which opened a huge gash in the side of the liner. But an international team of divers and scientists recently used sound waves to probe the wreckage, buried in the mud under two-and-a-half miles of water. Their discovery? The damage was surprisingly small. Instead of the huge gash, they found six relatively narrow slits across the six watertight holds.
Small damage, invisible to most, can sink not only a great ship but a great reputation. (Just as the ex- Notre Dame football coach found out.)
USA Today, April 9, 1997.
Jesus cared more about what His Father wanted than what other people expected. A good definition, then, of what integrity is about - Jesus!
B. Integrity: It starts with the heart.
i. Admit who we really are: Romans 3:9-14 (NLT)
9 Well then, are we Jews better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin. 10 As the Scriptures say,
“No one is good—not even one.
11 No one has real understanding; no one is seeking God.
12 All have turned away from God; all have gone wrong.
No one does good, not even one.”
13 “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their speech is filled with lies.”
“The poison of a deadly snake drips from their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
Look at Jesus assessment of the human heart: Mark 7:20-23 (NKJV)
20And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22“thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23“All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
A poll done by The Minneapolis Star Tribune a few years ago found that 65% of the people in Minnesota believed in hell. That is a pretty high number. Only 15%, however, said they knew someone who would be a sure bet to go there, and only 3% felt that they themselves deserved to end up in hell. In other words, most folks accept hell as a reality, they just don’t see it as a danger. Most folks believe they are pretty decent, but God procceeds to point out to us why we needed the Christmas story, why we needed a Saviour whose name is Jesus “he will save his people from their sins.”