Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Maintaining Integrity

Job 27:4
My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.

In Job's defense, he is stating that he refuses to acknowledge that which he is not. His friends want him to repent of sin he did not commit. Job is determined to not reject his integrity just to stop the accusations of his companions. This verse shows that Job is not willing to sin and lie in order to make his life easier.

Job would have had a much easier time with his friends had he just agreed with them and "repented" of sin he hadn't committed. But Job knew to do so would cause him to be a hypocrite (vs. 8). Like Job, there are situations in life where a "little deceit" would seem advantageous in getting my way. Whether it's at the grocery store, talking with a neighbor, or interacting with my children, deceit and manipulation are WRONG! No matter what my objective is, to lie would be a sin against God.

I can think of a couple of TV evangelists I have heard, who in trying to get funds for their ministry will claim "If you sacrifice your money to support 'God's' ministry, then God will reward you financially." This kind of speech is not Biblical. God does not promise monetary gain when you give your money to the church. God does promise blessings upon the one who obeys. However, this blessing is not always in the form we want it to be.

In dealing with my children, if I use deceit to manipulate them to do what I want, then as they grow they will stop trusting and believing me. They will not view me as a mother who loves them, but as a mother who wants them to be her slaves. I must always be honest with my children, and all people I come in contact with, even when it seems that honesty will hurt me.

This morning I was reading the daily devotional from MacArthur's book, Drawing Near, in it he talks about the Apostle Andrew. Who at the end of his life was preaching in a province where the governor's wife believed on Christ. The governor tried to force his wife to reject Christ. When she refused, the governor took it out on Andrew and crucified him. In the two days he hung there, Andrew continued to preach Christ even though to reject him would have given him life.

Job 27:6
My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go;
My heart shall not reproach me as long as I live.

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