Resources for the members of the United Church of God

Godly Integrity or Societal Integration?

You are here

Godly Integrity or Societal Integration?

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up

×

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 Ephesians 2:2-3 2 Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
American King James Version×
; 1 John 3:4 1 John 3:4Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
American King James Version×
). We are to live in this society but are not to be of it (2 Corinthians 6:14 2 Corinthians 6:14Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness?
American King James Version×
). 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 Revelation 13:16-17 16 And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
American King James Version×
).

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 Revelation 13:15And he had power to give life to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
American King James Version×
). 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 Revelation 18:4And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.
American King James Version×
).

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 Matthew 6:9-13 9 After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For your is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
American King James Version×
).

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 Isaiah 55:8-9 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, said the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
American King James Version×
).

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 Titus 1:6If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
American King James Version×
). “Her worth is far above rubies . . . let her own works praise her in the gates” (Proverbs 31:10 Proverbs 31:10Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
American King James Version×
, 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 1 Peter 2:9But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;
American King James Version×
). 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 Matthew 25:34Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
American King James Version×
). 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 Revelation 19:9And he said to me, Write, Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me, These are the true sayings of God.
American King James Version×
).

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. 

You might also be interested in...