Sometimes I’m asked to comment on the ills of society or to meet with an individual who is in need of counseling. The common denominator that frequently links the two is a lack of integrity. Whether it’s a politician, a musician, an actor, or an individual, the lack of integrity can be at the root of their problems.
Earlier today, I read about a sting conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation that focused on sex trafficking. Two ministers were arrested in a sex for money scheme. The actions of these men is indicative of their lack of integrity.
Integrity is defined as an “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.” It is an important trait that should be highly valued, and it is a part of Warren Buffet’s screening process: “In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.”
Buffet’s quote reminds me of the people of Berea and the manner in which they validated the ministry of Paul and Silas—they did an integrity check:
“The people of Berea were more receptive than they had been in Thessalonica. They warmly and enthusiastically welcomed the message and then, day by day, would check for themselves to see if what they heard from Paul and Silas was truly in harmony with the Scriptures (Acts 17:11).”
The Bereans didn’t take the teaching of Paul and Silas at face value. They checked it to see if it adhered to the principles of Scripture.
Searching the Scriptures was a daily habit of these people, and I suggest that it’s a practice you should adopt as well. When you read a passage of Scripture, I recommend that you ask yourself a couple of questions:
- Is there a promise I can claim?
- What lesson can I learn?
- Is there a command I should obey?
- Is there a sin I should avoid?
- Is there a blessing I can share?
These questions will help you focus on the principles of the Bible and apply them to your life, so read them through; think them clear; pray them in; live them out; and pass them on.