Are You Incorruptible?
“His wife said to him, ‘Are you still holding on to your integrity?’”
“The Value of a Leader Is Directly Proportional to That Leader’s Values”—it’s a quote from a poster I once read. The accuracy of that statement struck me. What we value shapes our character—and will ultimately define how we live, how we lead, or whether we can lead at all. As Christians, it definitely affects our witness for Christ. The question Job’s wife asked him is one that all believers need to ask themselves.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th Ed.) defines integrity as:
1) the firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility;
2) an unimpaired condition : soundness;
3) the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness.
It has been said that we live in a world that knows the cost of everything but the value of nothing. The reality is that we can not be effective disciples for Christ if we allow our values to be shaped by the media, a capricious society, or worldly thinking. The Apostle Paul wrote to the believers at Colossae, saying, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Col. 3:2. As followers of Christ, our values must come from things that have eternal significance—love, kindness, selflessness, honesty, purity, gentleness, etc.
Scripture is our compass, constantly reminding us that we need to seek wisdom and follow truth. But the world tells us truth is relative. No wonder Proverbs urges us: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.” Prov. 4:23. Let’s reflect on a few scriptures that remind us of how God directs His people:
“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.
Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.
It will save you also from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. For her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. None who go to her return or attain the paths of life. Thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.” Prov. 2:1-22
“I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing praise. I will be careful to lead a blameless life- when will you come to me? I will walk in my house with blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me. Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil. Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure. My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me. No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence. Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the Lord.” Psalm 101:1-8
In a world that delights in perverting truth, preaches selfishness, and denies Christ Jesus, we must stand firm in the ways of the Lord and “practice what we preach.” Instead of being hypocrites, we must be examples of moral integrity—found sound and complete in our wisdom and actions. It means we don’t compromise when it comes to the truths God has given us. We live blamelessly, without corruption, but
not without grace. We love the sinner, but hate the sin.
As believers we must seek wisdom and hold tightly to our integrity—for our own sakes, as well as the ones who do not yet know the Lord…and are watching.
The Power of Truth:
- “…so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them.” Phil. 2:15 (NLT)
- “He grants a treasure of good sense to the godly. He is their shield, protecting those who walk with integrity.” Prov. 2:7 (NLT)
- “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” Prov. 4:25-27
Suggestion for Prayer:
If you have not lived with integrity, not held tightly to it or are not known for it, ask God for the wisdom needed to live righteously and speak the truth boldly, restoring your witness to the world.