Daily Devotional – May 30th 2020

Silence: 2 minutes /Spend time in prayer and silence with God, asking Him to meet with you and speak to you.

BIBLE READING:

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.  James 4:17NLT.

Question: Would you hire a contractor to build a house for you who comes up with the cheapest bid, though you have read about his being sued for cheating on materials he has used for others, substituting inferior products for the more expensive ones called for in the specifications?

Would you allow a doctor to operate on you who has cheated his way through med school?  Or how would you feel about flying on a plane if you knew that the safety inspector had been given a bribe to sign off on safety regulations, certifying that the plane was safe to fly when, in fact, he knew there were major mechanical problems that could bring the plane down?

Foolish questions?  Not really. C. S. Lewis once said that you have to know what a straight line is before you can know what a crooked one is.  Contractors who cheat, doctors who aren’t competent, and safety inspectors who take bribes lack something that for centuries has been called integrity, and no matter how modern theorists camouflage and whitewash the matter, you quickly get very uncomfortable when you think you might become the victim of someone’s lack of integrity.

P.B. Fitzwater defined integrity as “the sum and total of a person’s choices.” Your daily choices and decisions, right or wrong, define your integrity, and integrity is the backbone of your character.

Time allows a few observations and reflections that may help you bring the whole issue into clearer focus in your personal life.

First, may I point out that you are not born with integrity or expedience. It is something that you learn. Character is formed during the early years of your life as you learn that certain things are wrong and others are right. But when integrity is lacking it can be developed just as any skill or ability. That’s what conversion is about; and an understanding of right and wrong, of that which is moral and immoral, contributes to character development.

Observation #2: Your character is the sum total of your choices and decisions in life. Your daily choices come with consequences attached to them, and when you come down on one side or the other, the sum of those consequences determines who you are. The aggregate total of what you decide to do—right or wrong—is the material that constitutes your personality and who you are.

Observation #3: Your reputation is what others think you to be, while character is what you really are. Remember that integrity is not measured in percentages like a batting average. Either you have it or you don’t.

Observation #4: Doing right is its own reward. In an airport bookstore I made a purchase with a charge card, and the clerk inadvertently put both slips—the customers and the merchant’s in the binding of the book, which meant his boss wouldn’t get paid for the book. “Excuse me, I said, “if you don’t have the charge slip, your boss doesn’t get paid for the book.” Did he thank me? No. Instead he looked at me with a “You’re kind of stupid” look which for a moment made me feel like a sucker. But I’m not. Long ago William Shakespeare said, “To thine own self be true and it shall follow as the day the night, thou cans’t not then be false to any man.” Regardless of what others may do, integrity is a choice I made long ago. It’s part of who I am and chose to be.

Finally, God blesses those who choose the somewhat less traveled path of integrity. Read Psalm 1. While those who take the path of expedience may gain temporary advantages, who you are when you lie down to sleep is important. God knows. You know. And eventually even your enemies will know. Integrity makes the difference.

Sitting quietly, relaxing comfortably. Release your neck and shoulders, relax and take a deep soothing breath. Close your eyes.  And, as you continue breathing slowly and deeply, listen to these words of scripture and welcome them into your heart.

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.  James 4:17NLT.

Breathing. Deeply, slowly.

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do.

Breathing. Deeply, slowly.

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not.

Breathing. Deeply, slowly.

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then.

Breathing. Focusing on the words.

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and.

Breathing. Focusing on the words.

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do.

Breathing. Focusing on the words.

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to.

Breathing. Focusing on the words.

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought.

Breathing. Focusing on the words.

Remember, it is sin to know what you.

Allowing them to sink deep within.

Remember, it is sin to know what.

Allowing them to sink deep within.

Remember, it is sin to know.

Allowing them to sink deep within.

Remember, it is sin to.

Allowing them to sink deep within.

Remember, it is sin.

Breathing. Focusing on the words.

Remember, it is.

Breathing. Focusing on the words.

Remember, it .

Breathing. Focusing on the words.

Remember.

[Pause One more minute of silence] Amen.

 

 

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