MEMORISE: Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: Matthew 3:8
READ: Matthew 7:15-20
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
BIBLE IN A YEAR: 1 Samuel 14:47-16:23
It is pathetic but true: integrity is a scarce commodity nowadays. The unvarnished truth is that almost all nations parade those who plead guilty to fraud, conspiracy to obstruct justice, immoralities, perjury, making of false statements and other criminal acts. Modern society is in dire need of people of integrity. A person is identified by his or her integrity. Matthew 7:16 says:
“Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”
What is integrity? Integrity can be defined as steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code. It is a state of being unimpaired of soundness; the quality of being whole or of having undivided completeness. Integrity is a synonym for honesty. It manifests itself as what is called incorruptibility.
Are you corrupt or incorruptible? Are you a man or woman of integrity? There are certain things to note about integrity. First, integrity is a skill: It is a practical skill. It is the ability to practice honesty and to exhibit moral courage in all ramifications. As with all skills, integrity is developed and learned over time. Integrity is a trait that is taught and learned over an entire lifetime. We need men and women of integrity in our society. Integrity can be integrated into a society through sound ideological precepts and practices. Secondly, integrity is a guideline, a benchmark, point of reference or a goal that is used to make decisions based on truth and honesty. To maintain integrity, a person must remember to refer to truth and honesty in all decisions, thoughts, actions and reactions. Thirdly, integrity can be described as a great tower. It is something that a person builds and maintains over a lifetime. May I ask: when will you begin to build your own tower of integrity? Fourthly, integrity can be considered as a seed. It is planted in childhood, watered in youth and blossoms in adulthood. The more a person waters this seed throughout life, the more it grows and blossoms. Just as it is with plants, if integrity is neglected at any point, it will wither and die. Integrity requires constant maintenance. A man or woman of integrity can be likened to a janitor. As a janitor cleans and straightens rooms for a living, a person of integrity should maintain true integrity through daily self-assessment in moral and financial probity. The fifth point to note is that integrity is delicate. If care is not taken, integrity can be eroded, lost or compromised beyond recognition in a person’s life.
Integrity means what a person says and what he or she does are the same; the results are consistent.
Are you a person of integrity?
ACTION POINT: Resolve to maintain integrity in all your thoughts, utterances and actions from today.