The Test of Integrity

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On a scale of 1-10 where would you place yourself on the integrity scale? First, let’s define integrity. Integrity by definition is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness or the state of being whole and undivided. Another practical definition would be integrity is what you do when you know that nobody is watching. One more practical definition is this: integrity is being faithful in the small things not just the big things that you think people will notice. Putting all that together you can say the real test of integrity is being faithful in the big things, small things, and being the same whether anyone is there to see it or not.

Many times, people get hung up on the small or what they might think are trivial things because they think they are not important. However, God is clear that being faithful in the small things is passing the test whether we have the integrity to handle the larger things of life.

Luke 16:10 (ESV) — 10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.

It’s kind of like the account of Naaman when he was really insulted by Elisha’s calling for him to wash in the Jordan River when he had come to the prophet of God for healing. Thankfully, he was reminded by his servants that if the prophet of God had required an important thing he would have done it in a heartbeat so why shouldn’t he do what the prophet said? It was when he was attentive to the small and “non glorious” detail that he was blessed with healing. Check out the account:

2 Kings 5:1–14 (ESV) — 1 Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper. 2 Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman’s wife. 3 She said to her mistress, “Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” 4 So Naaman went in and told his lord, “Thus and so spoke the girl from the land of Israel.” 5 And the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So he went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. 6 And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, “When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you Naaman my servant, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” 7 And when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider, and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me.” 8 But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.” 9 So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.” 11 But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. 13 But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14 So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

Are there any “small details” that you are neglecting? Is your integrity demonstrated in the intricate details that nobody sees? How well do you handle the non-glamorous tasks of life?

Good lesson for all of us. God places faithfulness to minuscule details every bit as important as the accomplishment of remarkable things. Being faithful in the seemingly insignificant details of life is not as insignificant as you may think for each time you work on a daily habit you are really working on building character. Each time you work on the little details of your marriage you are building security in your marriage. The tiny details of life are far from insignificant – they are also a test to see if we can handle more.

Luke 16:10 (ESV) — 10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.

Does integrity in being faithful to small details pay off? Notice what God has to say about it:

Proverbs 11:3 (ESV) — 3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.

Proverbs 20:6–7 (ESV) — 6 Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find? 7 The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him!

If you want to enjoy the guiding hand of God, stand out above the rest in God’s sight, and pass a great blessing on to your children – be faithful in the small details as well as the big things. Be the same faithful person when nobody is looking as you are when everyone is noticing what you are doing.


Bob Brubaker

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