Integrity; January 28, 2021

Proverbs 10:9 The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.

This verse seems singularly appropriate right now. There’s nothing wrong with the English translation, but the Japanese here gives fresh insight: “The walk (life) of the person who walks straight is safe, but the person who bends his own road will be found out.” The point in both translations is that it’s a matter of choice. It has been pointed out that if you always tell the truth, you don’t have to worry about which story you told to whom, and you also don’t have to worry about what will be uncovered. Right now in America all sorts of things are becoming obvious, to the shock of those who had previously been deceived and the somewhat grim “I told you so” of those who had seen through things previously. What the legal repercussions will be remains to be seen, but politicians are being exposed right and left as lying opportunists. Those with integrity are also becoming obvious, and it is at times surprising to see who is which. The lesson, for those who aren’t politicians as well as those who are, is to walk the straightest path possible. When you’re trying to get elected, the temptation to say whatever people want to hear can be extreme, but politicians aren’t the only people subject to that temptation. We are all observed by many people, and it’s not wrong to care what they think, but ultimately we are only accountable to One, and there is no “shadow of turning” with Him. (James 1:17) Some people get a perverse thrill out of lying, and they are to be pitied but not trusted. The Japanese term for integrity is literally, “unity of word and action.” Choosing to do what you say and to say the truth is always the safest path.

I’ve talked a lot about being raised by a father who took absolute honesty as one of his guiding principles, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that heritage. There are things in my past, and even in my present, that I would sooner not be trumpeted to the world, but I will never lie about them. That makes it sad to see all the all the intentional deception in the world. I have been impressed with Mike Pompeo, who was in a position of knowing many things that needed not to become common knowledge, but in my observation he never lied about them, but just skillfully declined to answer. I have at times hurt people needlessly by saying things that were true but didn’t need to be expressed, particularly by me. Integrity doesn’t mean blabbing everything! I am to choose the straight path always, but speak the truth in love, to build up and not tear down.

Father, thank You for this timely reminder. I do thank You that so many falsehoods are being exposed for what they are, and I pray that Your truth would prevail on every level, from the national on down to each individual, so that the works of the liar-in-chief (John 8:44) may be destroyed, (1 John 8:8) for the liberation of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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