Pr. 6:16 starts a list of 7 things the Lord hates. One of them is a lying tongue. It seems to just be the norm that people lie, or at the very least make endless excuses for their actions. Last night; however, I was refreshed when speaking to a college freshman who was telling me about his first “all-nighter” of the semester.
He wasn’t bragging, mind you, but just telling me about how he only got 15 minutes of sleep that night and that he probably won’t do things that way next time….meaning, he won’t procrastinate.
His assignment was a book review. It was due Monday morning, and Sunday night he sat down to work on it. His plan was not to read the book, but just get some bits and pieces and type his review from there. However, his plan was spoiled when he stumbled upon the integrity statement on the assignment. The statement basically said that by turning this assignment in I am saying that I read the book in full, etc., etc.
After exclaiming in a bit of frustration, he knew what he must do. So, he stayed awake until 4:30 a.m. reading the book in full, and finished his assignment by 6:30. He simply said, “I couldn’t lie.”
Honestly, I was amazed by the story of the character this young teenager. If he had written his review well enough, no one would have ever known if he had truly read the book or not; however, he knew that reading the book was his only choice.
It reminded me of Joseph. His own brothers sold him into slavery, he was thrown in jail for something he didn’t do, and he was forgotten by one who promised to speak well of him. Although the Lord had given him visions of a life of greatness, over and over he found himself being stepped upon and despised. He had every opportunity to become like the world and turn his back on integrity and on God.
However, deep down in his heart, Joseph loved the Lord. He would not sin against his God. Joseph’s love of God made him a man of character. Even if no one was looking, Joseph’s fear of the Lord helped him made decisions that proved his integrity. As a result, God used him for greatness, indeed.
I was encouraged by the choice of this young teenager who would not sin against God. Truly, integrity and character are still alive in this world. We still have a choice. And, since God is the same God, He will still bless those who choose to honor Him.
Let’s imitate this young man of integrity. When it comes to sin, for us who love the Lord, there is really only 1 choice.