Not long ago, my husband and I drove up to the mountains and enjoyed a beautiful day of sightseeing and a scrumptious lunch at a picturesque restaurant. When the server brought the bill to us, my husband noticed that she had forgotten to add the dessert.
Immediately, he called her over and brought it to her attention. She thanked him profusely. When we got outside, I said to my husband, “Honey, that’s what I love about you. You walk with the highest of integrity.” He said to me, “If you lose your integrity, you’ve lost everything.”
How true that is.
Integrity means that you adhere to moral and ethical values.
Hence, biblical values.
And the church should be the one place where integrity is lived out, especially by leaders. Walking with the highest of integrity is the best way to show Christ.
The Apostle Paul writes to Titus: “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us” (Titus 2:7-8).
Therefore, if you walk with integrity, then people have nothing bad to say about you. Sure, they’ll try. But in the end, their words would never stand firm on solid ground.
Here’s a sad reality: it’s often hard to find integrity in the church. Why? Because believers are adept at compromising. Pastors, teachers, and ministry leaders should be the ones to set the example for their congregations, but instead, they often bow to pressure and to the world.
It’s common to see church leaders making unethical decisions for their own gain. They want growth, control, and popularity more than rightness with God or His people.
I’m writing on this topic because I think compromising goes deep within the framework of the church.
Believers often compromise rather than stand up for biblical truth. And we compromise in many areas. Here’s an excerpt from our Peter Bible study on this very topic:
We confront compromise every day. Have you ever wondered why certain institutions set guidelines and rules and don’t abide by them? We have become adept at compromising our beliefs or standards because our world condones it. Some people compromise their morals because of an unhealthy relationship. Parents compromise the standards they once set up because their kids think they’re too harsh. Believers often compromise their beliefs because other Christians do. This topic is not just for church leaders, government officials, school administrators, or business employers. Each one of us faces the opportunity to compromise in some area of our lives.
We compromise in many areas: the television shows we watch, the movies we go see, relationships, parenting, our speech, our beliefs, and the list goes on and on.
So, what is so bad about compromising? Does God really care? Absolutely He cares!
Paul warned the church at Corinth that if they continued to let division separate them, then “the cross of Christ would lose it’s power” (1 Corinthians 1:17). Compromising can do the same thing. I don’t know about you, but I want to draw others to Christ, not away from Him.
I don’t want to be responsible for the cross losing its power. I don’t want my compromising to put a stumbling block in someone’s pathway. How about you?
I guess what we need to do is evaluate if we are compromising in some area. Do we promote something that God calls sin? Do we endorse some sort of ungodly living? Do we engage in things that are in contradiction to the values of the Bible?
Here are a couple things to keep in mind in relation to compromising – things that surely please God…
Stand up for God even if it’s not the popular thing to do!
So, will you do it? Will you not compromise even if your Christian brothers and sisters are? Will you live the way God intended you to live so that you will be a light for Jesus?
Don’t let the enemy win. Don’t let the world prevail. Don’t let temptation get the best of you.
Let’s say NO to compromising!
Love and blessings,
Upcoming Bible study
Joshua: Heaven’s Mighty Warrior
Launching January 22,2016