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Godly Integrity or Societal Integration?

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Godly Integrity or Societal Integration?

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What one root element effectively defines a person’s success throughout his or her life? Ponder that for a minute, as the answer indicates your future success.

The ever-increasing interconnected economic and social society relies upon one essential element for growing and maintaining its equilibrium: an integrated society with integrated systems. A society with systems that function smoothly requires compliance from all individuals.

People who historically resisted a society or its systems often became targets of persecution.

Opportunities, socio-economic relations, regulations and corporate and individual relationships become highly dependent at some level upon every individual’s integration within that society and its systems. Since the socio-economic system is crucial for the prosperity and security of the individuals within it, the worldly wise tend to integrate into it. But one who “makes waves” gets viewed as a risk by the majority who depend upon it for their success and survival. Hesitation or opposition at any level generates a de-facto resistance to the survival of the society. People who historically resisted a society or its systems often became targets of persecution.

The god of this world promotes lawlessness toward God’s commandments at the root of its systems (Ephesians 2:2-3; 1 John 3:4). We are to live in this society but are not to be of it (2 Corinthians 6:14). Like Jesus, Daniel and other Bible figures, we are to walk in society without becoming part of it. Revelation 13 shows that a powerful end-time government will require individuals to give absolute allegiance to the society and its systems. “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16-17).

Decisions and consequences will boil down to one’s allegiance. On one hand, “as many as would not worship the image of the beast . . . [will] be killed” (Revelation 13:15). But God says, “Come out of her, My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4).

Rejection of either system is met with counter-resistance and ultimate expulsion. This dictates that each of us has to make a choice of allegiance, which will have consequences. The time to be dead set on having made your choice is now. Declaring that choice daily is at the core of the model prayer outline that Jesus gave: “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven . . . But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever” (Matthew 6:9-13).

How important is it for the sons and daughters of God, the betrothed of Christ, to be living a life of godly integrity? How will that one element become a sole denominator of one’s success throughout his or her life and beyond? 

First, the “integrity” discussed here is not measured by men. That’s because “godly integrity” originates from God, through Jesus Christ, via the Holy Spirit. Godly integrity is possible only through embracing revealed divine standards of conduct and pursuing them with the help of God whose thoughts are far beyond those of human beings. “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Beginning in youth, godly integrity forms the platform from which a lifetime of honor, respect, admiration, attention, recognition and opportunities should blossom. Isaac, Joseph, Samuel, David, Daniel and Timothy were legendary youths whose godly integrity at an early age is memorialized in Scripture. We today see youths demonstrating elements of godly integrity as they enter a society bereft of ethical, moral and honorable behavior.

We can all witness how God works in our youth who rise to demonstrate sterling integrity, which is in stark contrast to that of society. Scripture encourages God’s children to grow in the integrity, honor, respect and praiseworthiness that fills God’s eyes. It is heartwarming when we learn of school programs that voluntarily adopt reforms in order to accommodate Church children who stand firm in their beliefs. Such a stance during a person’s youth sets him or her up for what follows them next in life.

Young adults spur new growth and development within any organization—be it a town, a company, a new family unit or the Church of God. New energy blossoms from passion, exploration and pursuit of greater skills. When coupled with their quest for accomplishment, growth explodes and previous goals get recalibrated. Consider the expansion of scale credited to the young adults, Joseph, David, Daniel, the disciples, the Apostle Paul and of course Jesus Himself. Consider the impact of this phenomenon today at all levels in the Church, from our local congregations to the young adult media staff. When young adults’ integrity rises, it has simultaneous impact across the spectrum of their educational institutions, relations with co-workers, interactions with professionals, their family chemistry, and among their Church community. The resulting fruit is honorable fruit and respected by those of like mind.

One of the greatest achievements and fulfillments that one can have in life is a place of honor, respect and admiration within his or her marriage: “if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children . . . ” (Titus 1:6). “Her worth is far above rubies . . . let her own works praise her in the gates” (Proverbs 31:10, 31). Children of caliber are given a strong sense of place in such environments where integrity and dignity raise the bar of human standards. With God’s direction, one can become intrinsic to the success of things greater than themselves. 

Overshadowing all the benefits and blessings of being a person of integrity is one’s recognition and appreciation from God Himself. After all, the only “integrity” that brings honor and respect from anyone is measured by how closely it matches the holy, righteous character of God. The ultimate statement of appreciation we seek is given by God Himself: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people . . . ” (1 Peter 2:9). It is God’s intent that we be people of spiritual integrity in order to reflect praise to Him and to His Kingdom. 

The ultimate reward Christ encourages us to see is one that God greatly desires to give us: “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). The entire chapter in which that statement appears extols us to develop godly integrity to the degree He requires from members of His family.

How important to others does a person of godly integrity become? Such a person develops great importance with his or her spouse, family, employer, society, Church, God the Father and the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. Such an individual is blessed and at the same time a blessing to others: “Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” (Revelation 19:9).

To achieve the greatest success in all aspects of your life both now and forever, become a person of impeccable integrity in God’s eyes.