In life, there are basic qualities that must be cultivated for us to experience true success, especially when it comes to honor and integrity. Trust will only be established once we prove ourselves credible. Credibility comes through being as consistent in private as we are in public. I know that your private life is your business, but ultimately what takes place in private will manifest in the public arena of our lives.
Proverbs 23:7 states:
"For as a man thinketh in his heart, (soul) so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”
In the context of this chapter, Solomon gives a clear description of an individual in leadership that does not have the best interest of those he is in relationship with. You see, many are deceived into believing the words of a person simply because of his or her financial status and position. This does not necessarily mean they have a heart for the people.
True success can only be measured by the care one has for his fellow man. When success and position become the only thing we seek, our values and integrity will be negatively challenged.
A person can only climb the ladder of life to the highest by staying leveled. In other words, we must make the decision to follow what David the Psalmist said,
Psalm 15:1-5 (KJV)
Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 4In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. 5He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
Notice verse 4 says that "he swears to his own hurt." This stating that honor and integrity comes at a great price. As a believer in the Lord Jesus, it is an honor to represent Him in this earth realm. We must choose to live our lives honorably, not only before the Lord, but also before people. Keeping our word and doing those things that are pleasing to the Lord in EVERYTHING that we do, both in private and public, is crucial for the Word of God to impact our lives and the lives of others.
The word "good" comes from the Greek word "kalos" and means honest, honestly, honesty, honorable:
James 4:17 (KJV)
17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
This sounds like God is pointing out exactly what sin is; lack of honor and integrity. More simply put, "to do good." If you know to be honest, but instead, you lie, then there is a sin problem.
Jesus also said that we would be judged for every idle word we speak:
Matthew 12:36-37 (KJV)
36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Our honor is directly connected to the words we speak. The word “justified” means declared righteous.
Would it not be a powerful legacy to know that people see you as a man or woman of your word, an upright person? That would mean you are an honorable person and someone that could be depended on.
This is why it is heart breaking when a husband gives his word to his wife in marriage, but finds another woman to add in extra marital actions, devastating the wife, because he has gone back on his word to her; what a disappointment.
Inconsistency opens the door for judgement, and condemnation, is the result. It is up to us to determine the quality of life we want to live. Once we determine that living with honor and integrity is key to success in life, we will experience a life-changing impact in every area of our lives.
Today, I encourage you to make a decision, to swear to your own hurt to live an upright, honest, and integral lifestyle, in the face of a demoralizing society that is seeking only to satisfy themselves. The rewards of an honorable and integral lifestyle will only be blessing. God's blessing is released in the lives of those who choose to honor Him with their lives.