FAITH AND INTEGRITY: DEFINE YOUR CHARACTER (PART I)
Do you have faith? Are you a person of integrity? How will people describe your character? Faith is the trusting obedience to the revealed word of God. Integrity is being upright, honest, sincere and consistent, while character is defined as the quality that makes you distinct from other people. For better description of these three words, let’s give illustration from the scriptures.
In the book of Daniel, we see the friends of Daniel – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Hananiah, Mishael and Azaniah) as people who proved their faith in the living God by disobeying the King`s ungodly order. They refused to bow down and worship the image which king Nebuchadnezzar had erected. They told him, ‘we will not serve your god’ (Dan. 3:16-18). Slaves disobeying the order of the king! Daniel distinguished himself in the king’s service which led to his being considered for elevation above his peers. He was trustworthy, neither corrupt nor negligent (Dan. 6:3-6). The envious and corrupt officials of state therefore cunningly coerced the king to issue a decree specially targeted at Daniel.
What did they see in these Hebrew slaves? It was the spirit of integrity and good character. The natural result of your faith and obedience to God will be display of character and integrity. Heb.11:32-33 contain names of people of great faith who can be examples for us. Without faith, it is impossible to please God.
God`s Testimony About Your Faith
God is ready to testify to your faith and integrity. He said of Noah “I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation” (Gen. 68:7). God vouched for Abraham “He will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord …….” (Gen. 18:17-19). In bondage, Joseph kept his faith and integrity. He refused the sexual advances of his master’s wife. “How can I do this wickedness and sin against the Lord”, he said. (Gen. 39:8-9). David is described as ‘a man after God’s own heart’ (I Sam. 13:14). The Lord Jesus commissioned His apostles to go into the world and preach the good news to all creation (Mark 16:15). The apostles faithfully did the work. The people of other religions affirmed the spread of the gospel, ‘those who turned the world upside down have reached this place also’ (Acts 17:7). Our Lord gave us a model of how to live. This He did through His lifestyle (Phil. 12:3-8), His word (John 17:6-19) and His Spirit (John 16:12-14). God has saved us to be instrument of salvation for others. Therefore, grow in faith and integrity. (I Pet. 2:9, Acts 22:14-15). (To be continued).