I want to ask a question, have you ever gone to the store, picked up a few items, proceeded to the checkout line, paid the money for the items, and the cashier gave you too much change? What did you do? Did you reason in your mind that God has blessed you? Or did you say, “Their loss is my gain?” or did you tell the unsuspecting cashier that they gave you too much change? In the life of a believer integrity is crucial, because it portrays a life that is living in accordance with the Scriptures.
Let me illustrate this by sharing with you a story that I recently read; there was a pastor who preached a sermon on “Honesty and Integrity” one Sunday. On Monday morning He decided to take the bus to his Downtown office. He paid the bus fair, and the bus driver gave him too much change. When He got to his seat he began to wrestle with what just happened. He counted the money again and again. He then began to rationalize how God had provided him with some extra money for the week. He realized that his finances were tight and this would be what he needed to break even or at least, have enough for his lunch. But he struggled more and more within himself, and when the bus arrived at his bus stop, he went up to the bus driver and told him, “you have made a mistake, you gave me too much change.” And he proceeded to return the extra change to the bus driver. The bus driver smiled and said, “There was no mistake; I was at church on yesterday and I heard you preach on “Honesty and Integrity.” So I decided to put you to the test.”
I have often times brought up how carelessly some will think it is funny to wrap up and take extra items from the buffet. Imagine if you were the business owner and a group of Christians came to dine at your buffet and a number of them began to wrap up cookies and hide them. Or imagine there were some that did not order the All-You-Can-Eat Salad Bar, but they ordered an entrée and then asked for a to go container, and then proceeded to the Salad Bar to take some of the chicken wings, potato wedges and other items. Now, that shows not only a lack of integrity and character, but it is downright ghetto. And to top it off, they are in their church clothes. Think about the impression they have made on those who are unbelievers.
We must never forget that the character of a Believer’s uncompromising life of integrity is his or her commitment to the Word of God to live by it. So the next time anyone of us is presented with the opportunity to compromise, don’t try to rationalize in your mind that God is blessing you. Ask yourself the question, “is this right or wrong according to the Scriptures?” and then we need to remember whose child we are.
Your servant in Christ