It is my prayer that every Christian recognizes the importance of serving God through the way we serve others. There are few things, if any, that are as emotionally exhilarating, and draining, as the task of serving others. Having worked in a variety of ministry settings, including various roles within Christian camp ministry, I understand the excitement that often comes with the beginning of a new ministry or ministry season. I also understand the weariness than can develop when our focus begins to drift away from the ministry of serving and onto ourselves.
This is day one in the ninth week of devotions from the book, “Serving God: Devotions for Active Worship”. This devotional book is laid out in thirteen weeks of daily devotions with each week wrapped around an aspect of how we can serve others. Each of these devotions are designed to help a person spend time with God to see how serving others is an act of worship.
Integrity As a Lifestyle
“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.“
Matthew 5:33-37 (NIV)
How would you describe a life of integrity? How would you live a life of integrity? What are some things that tempt you to not keep your word? Why? How are integrity and justice related? Can true justice be found without complete integrity? How should God’s view of you doing the right thing influence the way you serve? Do you always seek to do right? Why or why not? Would your serving of others change if you were to live with integrity as a lifestyle?
It seems that the longer I live, the more the average person’s response to anything is conditional. While it may be good that we’re more hesitant to say yes or no, we’re also less likely to stay with yes or no once we’ve said it. God calls us to live a lifestyle of integrity so that everyone knows that our yes means yes and our no means no. Living with such integrity as we serve not only represents a God that has complete integrity, but it helps those we serve learn to trust us.
As you pray, ask God to help you see why you may have difficulty in keeping your word. Pray that you would realize the importance of integrity as it relates to your witness of God. Pray that you would be known as a person of integrity.