‘The integrity of the upright will guide them.’ Proverbs 11:3 NKJV

After leading the tribes of Israel for several decades, the prophet Samuel didn’t get a party and a present. He got something priceless! It was this commendation: ‘You have not cheated or oppressed us.’ (1 Samuel 12:4 NIV) What a rare thing for a leader to have said about them: not once did you take advantage of those under you.

In today’s world of business and politics that’s almost unheard of. CS Lewis said, ‘Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make a man a more clever devil.’ So before ever you set your goals for life, determine your values. Values are like guard rails on the motorway; they keep you from tumbling over the edge. They determine how far you’ll stray from the road you’re meant to take. Knowing what matters and what you truly value is the key to living a life of meaning and purpose. For most of us the problem isn’t having values, the problem is living them out.

We all value honesty, integrity, and forgiveness, but when we’re pressed, do we really live them out—especially when it costs us? Pursuing a life of values comes with a price. But what we get in exchange is the ability to hold our head high during the day and sleep well at night. And perhaps just as important—it allows us to relax and be ourselves. The mental toll of cheating, lying, and stealing is draining. Trying to remember the lie you told someone last week, so that today’s lie will match up, can literally wear you out. When you live a life of integrity, you don’t have to worry about such things!

SoulFood: Is 30–33, Matt 10:21–31, Ps 104:24–35, Pr 3:11–12

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2021

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January 2020

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