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February 12, 1994

Holding on to Personal Integrity

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Till I die, I will not deny my integrity. JOB 27:5
There are many things in life over which we have absolutely no control. But we do have sole responsibility for our personal integrity.
Job was assaulted from many different directions. He was challenged throughout his suffering to throw in the towel. Perhaps the greatest assault came from his own home when his wife said, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9).
Having integrity, or wholeness, meant that the faith Job professed early in the book—the faith that he displayed around his children at family reunions, the faith that he evidenced in town meetings, the faith he lived at work—was authentic. When stripped of every material thing that a man could have—his wealth, his job, his family, his possessions, his friends, even his spouse—Job remained whole on the inside. His faith was not simply a false storefront; it had substance.
Job lost it all, but he would not deny his integrity.
Sometimes it seems as if life would be much easier if we just took the advice of Jobs wife and turned our backs on our faith. But if we did that, we would lose two things—our righteousness and our clear conscience. Denying our integrity, letting go of our righteousness, and living with a guilty conscience might give some temporary relief, but it really is only temporary. It’s only an illusion.
Over the course of a career, no matter where we work, there are going to be times when it will be more comfortable to shade the truth, to tell a lie, or to leave a perception that we know is untrue even though we haven’t actually verbalized something untrue. We might even get rewarded for that. But Job makes it clear that integrity is worth hanging on to for dear life, and that after all is said and done, the gift of a clear conscience is worth whatever pain we have to go through in order to sleep well at night.
How is your integrity? Have you been tempted to give in to practices that only leave you with a guilty conscience? Ask God to give you the strength to resist those temptations and maintain your integrity in all circumstances.

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