20th October 2021
INTEGRITY NEVER GOES OUT OF STYLE
Romans 6: 12‐18
Psalm 124: 1b‐3, 4‐6, 7‐8
Luke 12: 39‐48
Four high school boys were late to their morning classes one day. They entered the classroom and solemnly told their teacher they were detained due to a flat tire. The sympathetic teacher smiled and told them it was too bad they were late because they had missed a test that morning. But she was willing to let them make it up. She gave them each a piece of paper and a pencil and sent them to four corners of the room. Then she told them they would pass if they could answer just one question: Which tire was flat?
When you look around you see something missing in our society. Our country is reeking with corruption; it is full of politicians who are less than upright, the judicial system many times is compromised, and even athletics is loaded with people who are chemically enhanced.
In the Gospel, Jesus desires that His disciples be vigilant and prepared for whatever comes. They must be like good servants who do the will of the Master even when the Master has gone away for a while. The unfaithful servant only performs selfish acts in the absence of the Master. The Master, however, will come at a time when the unfaithful servant will not be expecting. The good servant is always living and acting as if the Master is about to return at any moment.
In the second part of today’s Gospel, Jesus, in a related pericope, describes the accountability that will be asked of all. Those to whom much has been given, will be held more responsible for their use, or misuse, of the gifts given to them by the Master.
Once again Jesus brings up a subject that is still an issue to this day. INTEGRITY. The word “integrity” means: uprightness of character, honesty.
In our country today we have been suffering from a lack of integrity. It has gotten to the point where we expect the worst of people. We just do not expect people to keep their word anymore. Politics has gotten to the point where we EXPECT our leaders to have lack of integrity. It reminds me of the farmer who saw a busload of politician’s crash. A busload of politicians was driving down a country road when, all of a sudden, the bus ran off the road & crashed into a tree in an old farmer’s field.
The old farmer, after seeing what happened, went over to investigate. He then proceeded to dig a hole & bury the politicians. A few days later, the local chief came out, saw the crashed bus & asked the old farmer where all the politicians had gone. The old farmer said he had buried them. The chief asked the old farmer, "The doctor wasn’t here. Are you sure they were all dead?" The old farmer replied, "Well, some of them said they weren’t, but you know how these politicians lie."
Jesus says that if our righteousness is going to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, we must be people of integrity.
We can take some time to recall when we did the right thing no matter what. What about the times that doing the right thing was more difficult? Am I treating the world with care and respect? Am I compassionate? Am I patient? How do I treat my neighbor or co‐worker—even the one who tries my patience?
Four Marks of Integrity
1. Integrity means telling the truth even when it hurts.
2. Integrity means keeping a promise when you would rather not.
3. Integrity means that you confront problems when it would be easier to walk away.
4. Integrity means forgiving when you’d rather hold a grudge.
As we stand on this year, we know that our Lord Jesus Christ was and is a man of unquestioned integrity. If you are going to follow him, you are going to walk in integrity, you are going to live in integrity, you’re going to be honest, truthful, dependable. The good news is this: integrity may seem hard, but through Jesus Christ, it is really easy. Dishonesty may seem easy, but for the Christian it is always hard. Jesus Christ can give you the power to be a person of unquestioned integrity. Honesty, facing your problems, paying the price, forgiving others, keeping your promises among others.
HAPPY MASHUJAA DAY!