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Thursday, January 18, 2018

My Integrity Shows My Faithfulness

In review of Luke 16:10 it says, “Whoever is faithful in small matters will be faithful in large ones; whoever is dishonest in small matters will be dishonest in large ones” (GNT).

I am to use my worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when my possessions are gone, they will welcome me to an eternal home. If I’m faithful in little things, I’ll be faithful in large ones. But if I’m dishonest in little things, I won't be honest with greater responsibilities. And if I am untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust me with the true riches of heaven? And if I'm not faithful with other people's things, why should I be trusted with things of my own?

Given this, I am to make wise use of the financial opportunities I have, not to earn heaven, but to help people find Christ. If I use my money to help those in need or to help others find Chris, my earthly investment will bring eternal benefit. When I obey God's will, the unselfish use of possessions will follow.

My integrity will often be put on the line in money matters. God calls me to be honest even in small details I could easily ignore. Heaven's riches are far more valuable than earthly wealth. But if I am not trustworthy with my money here, I will be unfit to handle the vast riches of God's Kingdom. I need to make sure that I'm maintaining my integrity in all matters, whether big or small.

A common saying today is that “what you do in your private life is nobody else’s business.” What I’m learning is that it actually is. What I do in my private life — what I do behind closed doors or out of view of other people — builds and reveals my true character. And God sees it just as clearly as the things I do in public.

In fact, the small, unseen things I do are the seeds to God’s public blessing in my life. I cannot compartmentalize my life and say, “I have integrity in my public life, just not in my private life.” There is a long list of public figures that have tried to live this way only to have their private indiscretions turn into public scandal and personal downfall. No matter what they say, any leader who is not faithful in small matters will not be faithful in large matters.

Jesus says, “If you have not been faithful with that which belongs to someone else, who will give you what belongs to you?” (Luke 16:12 GNT).

For centuries, everybody who learned a skill, trade, or vocation learned it through an apprenticeship. If I were going to be a mechanic, I’d be an apprentice to another mechanic and served in his (or her) business before I started my own.

This principle of apprenticeship applies to every area of your life. It applies to how I handle other people’s money, how I handle other people’s possessions, and even how I handle other people’s ministry before God gives me my own. In my own life God will watch how I handle what is entrusted to me; he will test my integrity. I need to prove my faithfulness in my role before God allows me to lead in greater things.

If someone loans me a car, how well do I take care of it? If a family lets me stay in their house for vacation, do you treat it as well as I treat my own home? God is watching and testing my integrity. And he will reward me accordingly.

This morning study is a great reminder for me, especially as I start in my new job role. It’s what I need to do and what I want to instill on those who work for me.  “God, I pray that you give me the guidance and reminders I need to be faithful and have integrity in the small matters as well as the larger ones. Help me to respond in humility and to be of service to others. In Jesus name, Amen.”