1 Samuel 12:1-6

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Naught Without Integrity


Now you have a king as your leader. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day. Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the Lord and his anointed. 1 Samuel 12:2-3a

Abraham Lincoln developed the reputation of being honest long before he became President. He earned his nickname, “Honest Abe,” while working as a young store clerk in the New Salem, IL People recognized his integrity and began asking him to act as judge in various contests, fights, and arguments. According to one person, “Lincoln’s judgement was final in all that region of the country. People relied implicitly on his honesty, integrity, and impartiality.” After his death, one of his closest friends said the reason why Lincoln was so adamant about honesty was because, “He believed in the great laws of truth, the right discharge of duty, his accountability to God, the ultimate triumph of the right, and the overthrow of wrong.”

“Integrity is the practice of being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. It is from the Latin word, integer, which means whole or complete.” The thing about integrity is it takes a lifetime to develop but only a moment to destroy. Samuel had been a man of integrity since he was a “youth” and the day had come for him to relinquish his position of authority to a king (Saul) God had directed him to set in the place of power over the people. He was now old and grey and was able to “stand” and challenge the people to bring a claim against him without fear of accusations. Since his early years, he had lived a transparent and guilt-free life and now he not only cleared his own character but set an example for Saul.