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Integrity in Hidden Places, Day 3- Integrity and our Money

Day 3- Integrity and Our Money
Jonathan Draper

“A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight.” (Proverbs 11:1, ESV)
“Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice.” (Proverbs 16:8, ESV)
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24, ESV)
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” (Luke 16:10, ESV)

You’re walking through a store, and you notice the person in front of you drop a $10 bill on the ground. You look around and see that no one else in the store noticed what happened. What do you do? Do you pocket the $10 or do you return it to the person who dropped it? When it comes to having integrity as it pertains to money, the answer in this scenario seems easy. Of course you would return the money to the person who dropped it.

Having integrity with regards to money goes far beyond seemingly small instances like this, however. If integrity means to “be honest and have strong moral principles,” then this should characterize all of our financial dealings. This would include how we earn our money, what we spend our money on, how we pay our taxes, what we borrow, what we pay back, et cetera. As Christians, we should be characterized by integrity in each of these areas, no matter how small the amount (i.e., $1), to whom the money is owed (i.e., the IRS), what the outcome may be (i.e., we lose money), who is there to see it (i.e., it could just be you), or how common it is (i.e., everyone does it).

It is easy to focus on large-scale fraud when it comes to having integrity with money, but each one of us has a responsibility to make sure that, no matter how small the amount, we handle all situations involving money with due care. This can even mean that we could be financially hurt by the result. One example is noticing the cashier at the store didn’t ring up an item correctly. Now, if it resulted in being charged more, of course it would be easy to speak up and correct the mistake. However, what if the mistake resulted in your getting an expensive item on a deep discount? It might be much more difficult to speak up in that situation. Integrity means total honesty, telling the truth even when it ends up costing us.

Today is the perfect time to examine our money habits to make sure that we are acting with integrity. If there is any area in which we are not, the first thing to do would be to confess it to the Lord (1 John 1:9) and then go make it right. We should make sure to discontinue these behaviors and make a commitment to act in total integrity when it comes to our money.

Over time, we will be able to build a reputation and a testimony of being an honest believer in Christ. Even when we are not aware of it, the world is watching us; and above that, God is always watching. What a great opportunity we have to display the characteristics of Christ to a lost world around us. It has been said that people may never read the Gospel of John, but they will definitely read the gospel of our lives, so let us live it correctly! It would be my prayer that each one of us would act with integrity with our money.

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