Tag Archives: integrity

(2 Kings 12) Integrity

Now here’s something you don’t see every day. Any day, really.

Let me set the scene:

Scripture tells us there were repairs going on in the temple. The contractors and workers were paid with silver that came into the temple by way of the offerings from worshipers. The high priest and his secretary weighed, then bagged the offering silver.

“Then they would give the weighed silver to those doing the work – those who oversaw the Lord’s temple. They in turn would pay it out to those working on the Lord’s temple – the carpenters, the builders, the masons, and the stonecutters – and would use it to buy timber and quarried stone to repair the damage to the Lord’s temple and for all expenses for temple repairs.” (12:11-13)

It sounds like it would have been an accounting nightmare, especially without spreadsheets and Microsoft Office on their computers.

But listen to this. This is what struck me today:

“No accounting was required from the men who received the silver to pay those doing the work, since they worked with integrity.” (vs 15, emphasis mine)

Have you ever had any remodeling done in your home? How did it go? You hire a contractor who hires workers to do the actual remodel, plumbers, painters, carpenters, tile workers. Or maybe the contractor actually does the work himself. Were you happy with the finished project? Was the job completed on time and within budget? Was the work done to your satisfaction? I bet some of you have horror stories.

Like my sister who, after she and her husband shelled out almost $30,000.00 for a remodeled bath and laundry room, continue to discover problems:

a toilet set too close to the wall

faulty (and dangerous) wiring

shower floor not caulked

closets without doors because they were mis-measured

a sump pump clogged with mortar dust because the worker emptied his bucket in the sump pump with water containing the dust from sanding the new drywall

Oh, there’s more. But you get the idea. My poor brother-in-law is outside digging a hole in their front yard, hoping to replace or reroute the pipe from the clogged sump pump before it rains today and ruins their new carpeting.

Integrity? I’m not seeing it here exactly. But here’s my point:

are any of us doing our jobs with integrity?

I play the organ at church. If I tell myself that if I hit a wrong note here and there no one will notice, am I playing with integrity?

If I teach a Sunday School and think, they’re just children so if I am not as prepared this week it’s no big deal, am I teaching with integrity?

Are you parenting with integrity? Are you working at your marriage with integrity? Representing Jesus with integrity? Driving your car, paying your taxes, being a neighbor, caring for your parents, serving on a committee at church, whatever… Are you working with integrity?

Do you need someone standing over you to make sure you are doing the job well and honestly? Or can they throw away the spreadsheets, like they did here in 2 Kings, because you do your work with integrity?

May each of us, no matter how big or small the task God gives us to do, be men and women with integrity. Then may we do the job as unto the Lord.

Integrity might be something we don’t see every day. But it should definitely be seen in you and me who know Jesus as our Savior.

Every day.

March 10; The Seriousness of Vows

Numbers 30-31

When  my first niece was born in the early ’80’s I held that tiny, beautiful baby and made a vow. I said, with her parents and grandparents in the room, “If your first words are ‘Aunt Connie,’ I’ll buy you a car.”

Everyone laughed, and like most babies, she said “Mommy” and “Daddy” long before she said my name. I made the same vow 18 months later when her little brother was born, and for the next ten years whenever one of my sisters had a baby I’d make the same vow. “Say ‘Aunt Connie’ first. I’ll buy you a car.”

I knew I was pretty safe, that I’d never really have to buy a car. Until my oldest niece was 15, and my sister had her fourth child. I, of course, made my silly vow, but this time in front of three teenage siblings who immediately began coaxing their baby brother to say, “Aunt Connie.” I will admit, I was a bit worried. But thankfully, “Mommy” won out.

I was off the hook. That is, until my nieces and nephews began having their own children. You’d think I’d learn. Not so much! Just last year one of my nieces had a baby boy, and Great-Aunt Connie made her silly vow. This time his teenage step-brothers began coaxing him to say my name. (I’m pretty sure I distinctly heard him say, “Dada” last time I was home.)

I share all that as I think about the Scripture I read today. It addresses the seriousness of our vows to God.

“This is what the Lord commands; When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.” (30:1-2)

Now Moses goes on and gives instructions how a vow might be annulled. But those circumstances are few and far between. The seriousness of vow-making is not lost on me.

I want to be a woman of my word. That means I need to speak thoughtfully, not making rash promises. Like when I promise to pray for someone, then immediately forget that I promised to pray. Like when I promise to call a friend, and then not pick up the phone. I know these are not the same kinds of promises we read about here in Numbers. But if I represent God, and I do, I want my word to mean something for His sake.

And when I promise God to turn from a sin, to change behavior that doesn’t please Him, to obey Him with all my heart, I want Him to know I mean it. The cool thing about God is, when I do make those vows, He Himself gives me the ability to follow through. I love that about Him!

I take my relationship with God seriously. I want to please Him in all ways, including the vows I make.

 

March 18 – Integrity

Deuteronomy 21-23

Reading these chapters in Deuteronomy today had me thinking about integrity. God’s laws for His people seem to sit under that umbrella.

I asked Siri for a definition of the word “integrity” and she gave me this: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, moral rightness.

God spelled out His moral principles in the pages of Scripture. Rather than skimming over the parts that have to do with finding my neighbors cow wandering around because my neighbors don’t even own a cow, I asked myself what is the moral principle God wants me to know?

I’m not building a house so worrying about a parapet doesn’t apply to me, right? I don’t have a vineyard or standing grain, so can I just skip over those laws? Or are there  moral principles in these examples that do apply to me?

I hope you’ll read these chapters today and ask God to speak to you about your own integrity. Are you living according to God’s moral principles?

He’ll let you know if you ask Him.