The Diminishing Integrity
by Zeal Clark
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For years there has been a steady disintegration of the morals, standards and integrity within our society. This should be obvious to anyone who has been paying attention to the attitudes and actions of people, not only in our own country, but also of those elsewhere in the world. But what causes a society to lose its integrity as its base of principles? More importantly, why isnít the outcome of this deterioration obvious to all those who are participating in it? Are people naÔve enough to believe this slide can continue without completely destroying our society?
Those who have studied end times prophecy should know the answer to these questions. Scripture is clear that the abolishment of integrity will result in disaster both for the individual and for the society itself.
Perhaps many of those with a lack of integrity actually believe they are deceiving others and that no one will suspect the truth about them. The Book of Proverbs addresses this in the 10th Chapter, 9th verse:
9 He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become known. NKJV
First of all, those who have a lack of integrity cannot hide this character flaw indefinitely. It will become more and more obvious until it becomes a hindrance to meaningful relationships. Eventually it will lead to even more dreadful consequences, perhaps even incarceration. Many well-known celebrities and government officials have experienced this disastrous result. This result was predicted in the 11th Chapter of Proverbs, 3rd verse:
3 The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. NKJV
Godís Word is clear concerning the need for us to have integrity and character and to use them as a foundation for all our activities. He delights in our being guided by principles of integrity. This is shown in the 11th Chapter of Proverbs, 1st and 20th verses:
1 Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight.
20 Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the LORD, But the blameless in their ways are His delight. NKJV
But unfortunately, many are those who are an abomination to the Lord. It is also even more unfortunate that this includes a large number of those who hold responsible positions both in business and in our own governments. The expression, ďIíll do what I said Iíd do, only if I have to,Ē often seems to prevail. Also, the number of people who believe in an absolute right and wrong is steadily diminishing. Many believe the end justifies the means.
Some say that power breeds corruption. But is it that power actually breeds corruption, or that the expression of power reveals what is already in the heart? The truth is that what is contained in a perverse heart is likely to reveal itself when given power to do so.
Without getting into particulars, itís apparent, no matter which media you believe, that there is extensive corruption in our government officials, due to a severe lack of integrity. Some believe this is a result of their rise to power and they become corrupt because of this power. But can new-found powers actually destroy integrity that is deeply rooted in the heart? Or, is it that that integrity was missing before this power, authority and responsibility were obtained?
Actually, integrity is a ďheart thingĒ. For those who truly have integrity, nothing should be able to separate them from it. No matter the intensity of the temptation, the integrity should speak louder. Therefore, whenever one is discovered to have engaged in some activities that are illegal, immoral, or disappointing or harmful to constituents, this is evidence of a severe lack of integrity that was already deeply rooted in them, which is much more than being overcome by temptation.
The question is, how do we discern this lack of integrity before we place them in such a high level of responsibility? First of all, it requires that we invest the time and effort to carefully review what is already known about those who seek office. Usually the signs are already there, if we would only look realistically at them. When we place someone in a position of authority who has exhibited tendencies to violate our trust, then we only have ourselves to blame when they fail to properly carry out their responsibilities.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the extent to which a lack of integrity is exhibited in our leaders is the extent to which it becomes a part of our society, infecting more and more others who are using this as an example of what should be expected of them also. In other words, if our leaders donít need to have integrity, then neither do we. This naturally leads to a corrupt society.
Then how can we as Christians justify a failure to lead lives on the basis of integrity and character? As Christians, we are held to an even higher standard than others. The 28th Chapter of Proverbs, 9th verse, is clear:
9 One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.
But then there is redemption in the 13th verse of that same 28th Chapter of Proverbs:
13 He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy
But what is the cause of this deterioration? Our enemy, Satan, has a distinct plan for the destruction of morals and integrity within our society, as shown in the 6th Chapter of Ephesians, 12th verse:
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. NKJV
Our battle against the diminishing integrity is actually a spiritual battle. Realizing Satanís intent to destroy the standards of integrity, Christians need to participate in a spiritual war against this evil attempt at destruction through prayer and confrontation, and self-examination of our own hearts. Christians should also pray for exposure of the corruption in officials so that they can be removed from office.
But our response should first be to examine the integrity and character within our own hearts. Character does whatís right, not whatís easy. Itís controlled by values, not moods. It looks for solutions, not excuses. Integrity means doing the right thing, even when it costs more than we want to pay.
A tree is known by the fruit it bears, as shown in the 7th Chapter of Matthew, 20th verse:
20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. NKJV
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