I was traveling past the “Korner Gas” gas station yesterday and I noticed a man pumping gas into two cone-shaped, stainless steel containers.  At first I wondered what he was doing, but then determined he was probably checking the pumps to make sure they were pumping the accurate amount of gas.  Although I’m sure our government succeeds in some areas and fails in others in regards to checks and balances, I found myself praising God that we live in a country where some integrity is still valued.  A person can at least have peace knowing that when you buy a gallon of gas, you’re actually getting a gallon of gas.
As I continued traveling the Spirit invited me to search my life in regards to integrity.  I began to run a check of areas of my life where I might not be operating with complete honesty.  Proverbs 16:11 says, “God cares about honesty in the workplace; your business is his business.”
I believe you would agree with me one of the greatest issues tarnishing our Christian witness today is our lack of integrity.  The watching world is well aware of the standard of behavior that God has set for his people, and therefore, I couldn’t tell you the number of times when people have shared their disappointment with me about “so and so” who might seem to be godly in church, but lives a godless life.
Obviously you and I will never fully live with complete integrity; however, empowered by the Holy Spirit we can make it our goal to follow Paul’s instructions to Titus, “Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.  In everything set them an example of 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 2:6-8)
So maybe you could join me in a quick integrity check.  What do you spend most of your time thinking about?  Have your eyes been looking at things they shouldn’t?  Has your tongue been filled with truth and grace?  What sounds or information do you subject your ears too?  Have your hands been where they shouldn’t be, or doing things that would dishonor the Lord?  Have you been treating you’re body as a temple of the Lord?  Have you been treating others as you would like to be treated?  And where have your feet been leading you?  Would Jesus be welcome to walk alongside of you every minute of every day?
After finishing my assessment, I realized there are still many areas of my life that need redeeming—areas where I need God to grant me repentance.  So often I feel like the Apostle Paul who writes in Romans 7:15, “What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise.”  Maybe you can identify.
My prayer for each one of us is that we would be open to the sanctifying work that God is doing in our lives, and that day by day we might bear God’s image a little more clearly—that we would truly desire to be holy as he is holy.  And may you and I walk in the peace and joy knowing there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.      Under His mercy, Mike

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