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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Taking Integrity Over Popularity

In review of Luke 9:26 it says, “Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels”

Bottom Line:
If you disassociate yourself with Christ in this life, He will disassociate himself with you when he returns.

What this means to me:
If I back away, disassociate, publicly reject or become ashamed of Christ, then He will do likewise toward me when he returns.

Today's passage comes from Luke chapter 9 where Jesus predicts and tells of his death to his disciples. So Jesus starts off by warning them to not to tell anyone who he was. Then he said, "For the Son of Man must suffer many terrible things. He will be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead." Then he told the crowd, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it (you can’t keep your own way and still follow him). But if you give up your life for my sake, you will actually save it for eternity. What would you benefit if you gain this whole world but in the end are lost or destroyed? Therefore, If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father”.

Ultimately there will come a day in which I will be called to give an account of my life before God. Knowing that this is coming should prompt me to consider my life and long-term thinking  on how I conduct it. This realization should change what I say, do and even who I try to impress.  It will be a people-pleaser antidote.

So in my interactions and in my thoughts, I need to consider if God would approve or disapprove of what I just said or did.  Am I more interested in what others think or what God thinks?

Rick Warren had explained how he gets interviewed on lot of tv shows. Within those broadcasts, he will be asked the toughest questions they can think of. They want to put him on the spot and, because he believes a certain thing, make him look like a bigot or a fool. They intentionally try to get him to back down off of what the Bible says.

He then explains that when he’s in those types of interviews, his human nature is to want to be liked, much like mine would be. His human nature wants to compromise, divert, punt, and leave out the truth. He then goes on to explain how he has actually heard other guys being asked those same questions and they reply with, “I just leave that up to God” or “Everybody has to make up their own mind.” Responses like those are simply cop-outs! While politically correct, those people are not standing for the truth.  Rick then said that in those moments, when he could say something that would be politically correct and wouldn’t offend, it would be a lie. He then recalls these truths, and does three things:

First, remember what Jesus Christ did for me on the cross. He didn’t deny me. He didn’t back down for me. He died for my sins. I owe him my life. He created me. He saved me. He forgave me. He’s taking me to Heaven. I’m not going to deny him.

Second, I remember that one day I’m going to give an account to God. And at that point God’s going to say, “What did you say in that interview? What did you say in that conversation at work? What did you say to your friend at school?” I remember that integrity is more important than popularity. And I’m not going to give up my integrity.

Finally, I tell the truth, and I let the chips fall.

I can learn from this and do the same as I walk in faith with Jesus. This morning I pray that “the Holy Spirit will come to me in these times and help me remember what Christ has done for me, that I will eventually give an account and that my integrity is much more important being popular.”