(still working a day behind…sorry)
1 Thessalonians 2:1-16; Isaiah 14-16; Psalm 113
Jesus taught a lot about integrity. He taught that amidst the background of those who would use God’s word and the worship of God as tools to get around upholding their word while maintaining the semblance of having integrity. As Paul taught the Thessalonians and reminded them in his letter, our integrity is far too important to compromise for personal gain as some did. He taught them “…that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:12) Their society valued turning phrases and cutting sharp business deals so that they could cheat others to make lots of money. Today, we see the same attitudes. There was a time in the life of our country when our word was our bond. At worst, a handshake meant a deal was consummated. Nowadays, even for what would seem to be the simplest transactions, we need a contract approved by lawyers from both sides of the table. Even when we have these contracts, there are other lawyers who make it their job to break the contracts if one of the sides can get a better deal. Paul’s words still ring true and indict Christians and our society today: we should walk worthy of God who called us into His kingdom and glory. Does this mean we shouldn’t sign contracts? No. It does mean, though, that anyone who does business with us in our litigation-laden society will say or think, “I know I don’t need this contract with you, but my lawyers demand I have it.” Paul taught the Thessalonians the same thing that Jesus taught: Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. Walk with personal integrity in a world of tricksters and schemers. Let the world watch us and be impressed that we always maintain our integrity; that our lives are always worthy of the God who called us into His kingdom and glory.
Lord, it’s so easy to cut corners and try to get ahead. We call it shrewd business, or great business practice. Remind me that who I am as a man of God is far more important than how much material wealth I gain. Let me life reflect Your kingdom and glory to others.