by Pastor Tim Burt
We live in a world of manipulative people. You may have worked with or for such people. Their way to success often includes pursing what they want, using any method that works to get there, regardless of whether it’s moral or ethical. It might be by using forms of intimidation such as using threats, screaming, out-of-control outrage, or even physical bullying. They might incorporate lying, gossip, or slander. Their success might rely on taking the good ideas of others to the boss and taking credit for them. These kinds of sick behaviors happen in life—daily. Because they do, the temptation would be to do the same thing back. After all, How else am I going to survive much less succeed if I try and walk in integrity? That might be how a non-Christian thinks, but it shouldn’t be so of you! You have God on your side.
God has a high road for you to walk. There are three pillars to hold you up in that walk: honesty, integrity and faith! Keeping these three pillars in your heart will constantly and consistently guide you to right choices that help you in fulfilling God’s will for your life—with great blessing! The question you might ask yourself is this: What matters more to you? Walking in integrity and doing things right no matter what others do around you, or obtaining the lures of success at the cost of your integrity? The reason I ask you that is because it is typically a much longer and often more difficult road to success when walking in integrity than it is manipulating your way through life. People manipulate to get their desired result in the fastest and easiest way possible. That’s the main reason people lie! But that’s short-sighted and will ultimately cost them more than they can afford to pay! Remember the Pharisees of Jesus day. He called them …”whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.” (Matthew 23:27) The people of Jesus’ day thought the Pharisees were special until Jesus revealed their antics.
Jesus walked upright and in integrity but it wasn’t easy. And it looked like a losing plan. He was persecuted as was Joseph and Daniel. Each of them prevailed because God was with them through it all! If you stay honest, walk with integrity, and have faith God will see you through, you’ll remain on God’s high road. If your heart, words, and actions are integrous, the Lord knows it and you’ll eventually be rewarded for it!
It can be painful when people take credit for what you have done. It can hurt when you are blamed for something that you didn’t do. It can be painfully discouraging when you are never appreciated for your contributions or persecuted because others know you are a Christian. And this is why Jesus ,said “God blesses those who are humble (meek,) for they will inherit the whole earth.” Matthew 5:5 (NLT) Manipulators appear to prevail, but Jesus said that it’s the meek that ultimately do!
Manipulators are unkind though they might at times act kind to get a desired result. They are also immoral and unethical people who have to live with themselves. To do so, they deceive themselves through rationalization justifying their actions. In the end, the material and egocentric trappings of success that people chase, lead them to become unethical and manipulative. It is never worth it! They will one day crash and burn.
Learning to walk in integrity is difficult. It takes trust that God is with you and trust that He’ll take what the devil meant for evil and turn it for your good! At first it can seem painful to do what is right, but in time, it’s developed within your character and simply becomes who you are! Having your character developed by God in such a way is worth the effort and pain you might experience.
Walk in the three pillars of God’s high road. Know that nothing escapes His eyes! Know that He is pleased by your choice of walking in integrity and rewards it in time. It will give you a life without regrets and it will form a godly character in you that will draw the blessing of God to you! Blessing and promotion follow integrity! Don’t ever forget that!
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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