THE LIFE OF INTEGRITY
Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC
1 Samuel 12:1-5
And Samuel said to all Israel, “Behold, I have obeyed your voice in all that you have said to me and have made a king over you. 2 And now, behold, the king walks before you, and I am old and gray; and behold, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my youth until this day. 3 Here I am; testify against me before the Lord and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? Testify against me[a] and I will restore it to you.” 4 They said, “You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from any man’s hand.” 5 And he said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.” And they said, “He is witness.”
The prophet Samuel here in 1 Samuel 12 gives his farewell address to the people of Israel as he knows that he is going to die soon. He had faithfully served the Lord and the people of Israel to the best of his ability in the Lord and now is testifying of the Lord’s faithfulness along with his faithfulness to them. He mentions how in his ministry he is blameless when it comes to his service to the people. He was fair, upright, and honest with them, and they agreed and affirmed his leadership in that way. Samuel lived a life of integrity before those he served and we too ought to strive to live a life like that.
In today’s culture what many celebrate is status, fame, fortune, and power. Many equate possessing those things to having true success. Though there is nothing inherently wrong with possessing or achieving any of those things, those things do not equate to true success for the Christian. True success for the believer is living a life of integrity before the Lord and those around you. The dictionary definition of integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. For the child of God we ought to be more concerned about loving our families in spirit and in truth than we are about climbing the ladders of success at the expense of our family. As children of God we ought to be more concerned with genuinely loving our neighbors and friends than we are chasing notoriety online via social media platforms at the expense of those families. The win at the end of the day is not advancement at the expense of one’s character, it is being known for having godly character in all you do, in every season of life.
The prophet Samuel with his calling and stature could have abused it like some of the prophets before (Hophni and Phineas). He could have used it for political purposes. He could have used it for extortionary purposes in the “name of God” However, because of his love for the Lord and devotion to Him he lived a life of integrity. By the way we live and operate can it be said of us that we are people of integrity? Like Samuel do our lives preach that we love Jesus and love following Him/modeling His character? I don’t know about you but I want to be known as a child of God who loved Jesus, loved people well, and chose to live a life of honesty towards others. These days may we choose to be more concerned about honoring God with our character than we are pleasing others at the expense of it.
PRAYER FOR TODAY: Dear Heavenly Father, help me to be the man/woman of God who walks in integrity. Help me to honor you not just with my lips but with my life! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK
1 Samuel 12:24:
24 Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.