Integrity

integSometimes 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.

Are You Among the 21%?

21percent_in_red_and_3d_NLI doubt there are many of us that number ourselves among the elite 1% of the world’s wealthiest people.  You may, however, find yourself among those who will be changed by the 21%.

What is the significance of 21%?  If you add it to your situation, it can make a big difference:

  • If you are concerned with your IQ, you probably already know that 50% of IQ scores fall between 90 and 110. If you add 21% to a score of 100 you become a person with very superior intelligence.  If you subtract 21% from 100, you will find yourself among the ranks of those who are classified as having a “borderline deficiency in intelligence.”
  • The average life expectancy is 71. If you add 21%, you would live to be 86.  If you subtracted 21%, you would only live to be 56.
  • If you are 71 inches tall you might be able to play basketball by adding 21% to your height. At 86 inches tall, you would be taller than LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers  If you subtract 21% from 71, you would be about 4 ½ foot tall, but still taller than Eddie Gaedel.  At 3 foot 7 inches, Gaedel was the shortest player to ever play in an MLB game; and, he did it in 1951 when he played for the St. Louis Browns.
  • If you weigh 171 pounds, 21% would be the difference between tipping the scales at 207 pounds and weighing only 135 pounds.

If you are a person who likes to travel on an airplane, 21% means you may have to buy new luggage. The International Air Transport Association has set some new guidelines for carry-on bags.  The IATA is recommending that bags should be 21.5 inches tall by 13.5 inches wide and 7.5 inches deep which is 21% smaller than current standards.

What would happen if you made a 21% change in your life?  How would your life be different if you followed these old guidelines?

Let us drop every extra weight, every sin that clings to us and slackens our pace, and let us run with endurance the long race set before us, and stay focused on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).