Building Nations on Integrity

There are many platforms on which we can build.  The Bible says the wise man builds his house on the rock. Christ is the Rock.  But He was a man of integrity and He taught in Matthew 5:37  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.  Indeed we have gone beyond yea and nay to complex contracts and agreements and still find integrity lacking.  It is fashionable for business to adapt the concept of integrity –  to “think straight and talk straight” to the best of their ability.  Some succeed and some did not.

Integrity goes well beyond what we say and mean  –  to the intentions we wish to convey to those with which we communicate.  These can be two very different things.  For example, a man with very inadequate qualifications for a role goes to attend an interview and genuinely forgets his credentials .  He is extremely well groomed, tall and confident … exuding a confidence that he could handle the job.  He arrives at the interview and disarms the panel with a smile and politeness.  When asked about his credentials he admits he forgot to bring them.  The panel cannot find his CV – somehow it is also missing.  They ask him only one question. Do you think you can do the job and are you qualified? He says “Yes, I think so,  God helping me” …. The panel quickly decide this is the man.  He is offered the job.  Six months later he is discovered to be a fraud, who is quick to promise but lacks capability to deliver. Surely God did not help him.

Integrity is not just about adhering to contracts and documents but forensic accountants know well that the lack of it thrives where there are scanty documentation.  Where things will not be put in writing – do not search far for lack of integrity. Lack of criminal evidence or documentation that supports wrong does not equate to integrity.  Most people with no integrity will never be caught at anything.  Most of the motivational hype and exaggerated positivism passing for the gospel in some quarters is far from building on integrity.

A man goes to the negotiating table to deal and gives the impression in his gestures, confidence and clever use of words that he has more resources than he really has to bring to the table.  The deal is signed and the partner discovers he has been too trusting and should have slowed down the process to verify some impressions.  The ability to creatively manipulate what our words were understood to mean (not necessarily what we said) is the mastery of the one who lacks integrity.  The penchant to use communications skillfully to misrepresent situations for disguised benefits is at the heart of Machiavellian success.  But integrity, though less popular, is to plainly admit right or wrong.

I  heard a case of a student who confessed after becoming a Christian that he cheated at the admission examinations to the university many years back and would rather have his degree withdrawn …ready to start afresh … building this time on integrity.  While open admission of wrong, failure or inadequacy is one of the hallmarks of integrity as it creates the opportunity for paradigm shifts and improvements and for new bolder thinking to emerge  – cleaving to what does not work is a sure evidence of its dearth.  We of course all have wounds we prefer hidden, but we also know these are always  like ugly boils hidden under our armpit where the fresh breeze cannot find and heal, but bacteria and flies have a way of reaching to delay full restoration.  Everything that God has opened up has been rescued from the arrows of lack of integrity.  There is a strong link between transparency and integrity. Freedom of press/access to information and the integrity of the polity are likewise linked.

A pastor once went to his supervising elder and confessed things were not working so well in the parish and that it may be wise to find someone more competent. Many will think this to be a negative confession and voicing of doubts … only a few prayerfully considered that perhaps God had a replacement waiting for this man’s resignation.  Where there is no integrity, people cling excessively to protect roles they have no  business occupying.  Resignation is honorable where integrity thrives.  God will need violent processes to uproot some.  Integrity requires self-control and discipline and is not achieved in a default mode.

Where there is lack of integrity,  positions and views are always changing to protect interests.  People do not speak bold truths that could hurt these interests ostensibly because they love God and it is not scriptural to say negative things  –  but really to protect self from a possible future disadvantage and for fear of change. The (spirit behind) motives for obeying scripture matter even more than the letter.  To understand lack of integrity and its result, study the story and nature of  Laban in the Bible. Go through the scriptures and carefully understand how Rachel was skillfully used as his bait and how Laban was not caught saying anything wrong or sinful … even once.

Laban would not let Jacob go, and tried to hold on to him with more tricks. What is the result of lack of integrity? It creates an addictive dependence on the flesh … meaning dependence on a person, system, group, interest, God father  –  anything but God, as lies are needed to cover more lies – and only the flesh (never the Spirit of God) can supply a continued dose of it.  There are temporal benefits but the eventual outcome is always mediocrity.

May God give us, our families and our nations –  good success as we hearken, trust and obey Him.  You can begin to build again. Amen

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Share

Get your Life, Business, Ministry or Career back on track

A.W. Tozer writes in “Echoes from Eden

 “Jesus tells the story there of the man who went into a far country and before leaving, called in his three servants.  He gave them talents to be held in trust during their absence.  He gave one man five talents, another two and another one, each according to his own ability.  They could not complain for each was given what he deserved.   Then He said, “ I will be coming back – remember that I have delivered unto you my goods.”  ….

 … But the hour will come when our kindly-faced but serious Saviour will call the redeemed and justified to His feet saying:  “ I must have an account of the deeds done in the body since you were saved.  You have had more abilities entrusted to you for faithful and obedient service and witness.”

There will be no place to hide then.  You tried to settle everything in the spiritual life by one act of believing but there are some things that are never settled until death cuts us off or until the Lord comes.  Now what is it that God expects of us morally, and spiritually?  He advises the way of self-judgment: “ If we judged ourselves we would not come under judgment”… I trust many of us are becoming willing to breathe sincerely that prayer with Charles Wesley:  Arm me with jealous care – as in Thy sight to live; And Oh, Thy servant, Lord prepare  – A strict account to give”

 

I often reflect on the words of Tozer.  The Bible tells us of a man called Enoch who walked with God … so closely that God took Him.  Enoch had a son he named Methuselah. But why did Enoch walk with God?

Genesis 5 [21]  And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: [22]  And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: [23]  And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: [24]  And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

Methuselah means “When he is dead judgement shall be sent”… or  in plainer terms – the audit comes when he dies.   We can imagine that God inspired Enoch to give his son this name and every time Enoch saw Methuselah he remembered the coming judgment and must have been often perturbed in that he did not know how long Methuselah would live.  Everyday must have been lived with strict care.  This perhaps was the secret of Enoch’s close walk with God.  Indeed, we know Methuselah lived very long (969 years) and died in the year of the flood that destroyed the world (except Noah and those in the ark).  The fact that Methuselah lived longer than any man known testifies to God’s incomparable mercy, love, patience and long-suffering – that gives and gives us new opportunities to repent. This does not mean He has changed His plan.  The effacement of thoughts about judgment  from our theology causes us to seek fun and be unwatchful.  The apparent delay decieve many to imagine He will no more return.

Someone asked “ How can I be sure I am walking with God in my finances, business and ventures?”…and I answered  ” live a life of constant remembrance that whatever you do, gather and achieve is time-bound and mortal … and after there will be a comprehensive audit…a judgment of it by an all-knowing God who owns it all.”

God will judge what we did with time, career, ability, skills, our marriage, ministry, education…He will judge our response to every sermon we heard…every blog we read…every thought and knowledge He gave us.  He will judge what we did with our nationality and all our advantages…He will judge fairly but firmly according to His word. It is wise to understand the audit scope by studying the word of God and quickly agreeing with it.

He especially remembers what we did concerning the poor, the vulnerable, the widows and the orphans…the hungry and the weak…He will judge all our failures, successes and all our assets acquisition and losses.  He will audit our saving and spending and scrutinise our generous giving.  He will judge our silence and also our words.

He will consider all our aspirations, earnings and luxurious extravagance in the light of the needs of others with neither food nor shelter.  He will judge our comfortable social safety nets in the light of impoverished souls perishing daily and innumerably like unprotected insects  – mere statistics or news items to us.  He will judge the things we missed because we thought they were immaterial – yet someone hungry somewhere could have been fed for weeks on that which we squandered on another gadget we will throw away in a few months.  Everything will be reviewed as  though they belonged to Him and not to us…nor to any government or nation…or even ministry.   They all belong to Him.

Enjoy this video by John Piper giving his own perspective on the Prosperity gospel …

YouTube Preview Image

Concerning all the investments, businesses, achievements…Christ constantly reminds us  “ I will be coming back – remember that I have delivered unto you my goods.”    Surely, we all need more grace to walk with constant remembrance of this truth – ever seeking the mercy and help of a God who lovingly and patiently awaits our repentance and is ready to give us a fresh start.  With this mindset, all our business activities will be conducted in a very rigorous self-auditing mode that transcends our accounting standards.  He will examine if we are still full or emptied of every deposit that must have been poured out for the benefit of humanity.  Have all the talents been invested for His glory?  What do we have hidden in the closet of procrastination?

Many may ask?  Why have I dedicated many posts to Haiti and ugly scenes of crisis and death amongst the poor brethren in Jos, Nigeria…surely these have nothing to do with managing money and success.  Others may not want their consciences assaulted with images of the poor living under subhuman conditions… and a few have had disturbing nightmares caused by realities they are not used to considering.  But our responses to all these scenarios may all be part of His judgment …

Isaiah 58 [6]  Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? [7]  Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? [8]  Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.

Get back on track… and back into the ark. This time – be sure you remain in the ark  – in Christ Jesus.   May the Almighty God who is able to keep us faithful and save us till the very end arm us with jealous care and bless us indeed.  Amen

Bode

Go to Authorhouse Bookstore

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Share