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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Honesty, Integrity and Respect - the High Road

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


We live in a world of manipulative people. Sometimes you work with them or for them. Their way to success often includes pursing what they want, using any method that works regardless of whether it’s moral or ethical. It might be by using forms of intimidation such as using threats, screaming, out-of-control outrage, or even physical bullying. They might incorporate lying, gossip, or slander. Their success might rely on taking the good ideas of others to the boss and taking credit for them. These kinds of things might go on in your life and if so, the temptation would be to do the same thing back—after all, how else are you going to survive much less succeed if you keep your heart right and walk in integrity? That might be how a non-Christian thinks, but it shouldn't be so of you! You have God on your side.

The question you might ask yourself is this: What matters more to you, walking in integrity and doing things right no matter what others do around you, or obtaining the lures of success at the cost of your integrity? The reason I ask you that is because it is typically a much longer and often more difficult road to success walking in integrity than it is manipulating your way through life. People manipulate to get their desired result in the fastest and easiest way possible. But that is short-sited and will ultimately cost them more than they can afford to pay! Remember the Pharisees of Jesus day. He called them …”whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.” (Matthew 23:27) The people of Jesus’ day thought the Pharisees were special until Jesus revealed their antics.

Jesus walked upright and in integrity but it wasn’t easy and looked unsuccessful before it successful. He was continuously persecuted as was Joseph and Daniel.

If your heart, words, and actions are integrious and the Lord knows it, you are in the best place of all.

It can be painful when people take credit for what you have done. It can hurt when you are blamed for something that you didn’t do. It can be painfully disappointing when you are never appreciated for your contributions. And this is why Jesus also said “God blesses those who are humble (meek,) for they will inherit the whole earth.” Matthew 5:5 (NLT) Manipulators appear to prevail, but Jesus said that it’s the meek that ultimately do!

Manipulators—unkind (generally only kind to get a desired purpose,) immoral, and unethical people, have to live with themselves. To do so, they deceive themselves justifying their actions. In the end, the material and egocentric trappings of success that people chase leads them to become unethical and manipulative. They aren’t worth it!

The good will be able to look back and stand before the Lord knowing how they lived their life—a life they are thankful for and without regret.  Having your character developed by God and in such a way that you were a blessing to others and pleasing to God—now that’s worth living for!

So, when you take the high road, don’t be a Woe is me—I do what’s right and no one knows or cares self-righteous whiny baby. That will rob everything your integrity would gain you. Instead, keep walking that right road. Know that God is with you. Know that He will defend you if you handle these difficulties through prayers of faithreal faith! The kind that says, Lord I am not compromising but trusting you for life. I know I'll come out blessed in the end—faith! 

Be glad and rejoice that you are serving God before man and know that nothing escapes His eyes! Know that He is pleased by it and it does count. And walk steadfast in integrity. It will give you a life without regrets and it will form a godly character in you that will draw the blessing of God to you that comes with no sorrow!
In the meantime, here are some verses to encourage you!

"If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there; if you're kicked in the gut, He'll help you catch your breath." ~ Psalm 34:18 (MSB)

“But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Matthew 6:6 (NLT)

“And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith.” 2 Thessalonians 3:2 (NIV)

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22 (NLT)

“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him…” 2 Chronicles 16:9 (NLT)


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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