Image vs . Integrity

If you live in our area you have been very aware of the doings at Penn State.  Just yesterday I was on campus and the media there alone reminded me of vultures circling and ready to “dine”.  Many people here are disgusted at the coverup of some at the university and riots have spilled over in the streets when it was announced Joe Paterno had been fired. It has not been a great week in Happy Valley. So damage control has been in high gear here and yet many are still not confident image has been put where it truly belongs.  It seems image has been the chief concern rather than integrity, which is a lesson for us all.  Has your life been more about image or integrity?  We can blame the guilty here but do we typically lie to save face? Are there things we are hiding?  Has pretending become a way of life?  What great spiritual lessons abound even in great crises !

In 1867, Alfred Nobel awoke one morning to read his own obituary in the newspaper. He was the inventor of dynamite.  The article noted that in his lifetime Nobel “devised a way for more people to be killed in a war than ever before. He died a very rich man.”   But the paper obviously had gotten it wrong, Alfred was still alive. It was his brother who had passed.  Nevertheless, the account made such a profound impact upon Alfred that he made a decision. He wanted to be known for something other than inventing dynamite and amassing a fortune from it, so he created the Nobel Prize – an award for scientists and writers who foster peace. He said, “Every man ought to have the chance to correct his epitaph in midstream and write a new one !”

The whole matter at PSU  clearly demonstrates the truthfulness of God and His Word. We are sinners, just as He’s said. No amount of whitewashing by men can cleanse us before His holy gaze !   “They are ALL gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable, there is NONE that doeth good, NO, NOT ONE !”  (Rom.3:10).  Pretty blunt !!     “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?” (Jer.13:23).   Maybe its time people realized we need the Lord and man can never be totally trusted yet God is completely reliable. And what’s also encouraging is that  when we come to the end of ourselves, die to self and turn to trust in God, like Mr. Nobel, that’s when we can begin to right the ship and image then  follows reality !!!

Take it a day at a time as a Christian. Don’t settle for image, be real and be right with God – secure your life on the completely reliable integrity of God and His Word !!

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