Probing Proverbs 11:1 The Lord detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights.
I remember a while ago two fast food chains that are in competition had an interesting encounter with their breakfast pies. One was known for their apple pie, the other was known for their peach-mango pie, they both were the same exact size. The store that had the apple pie advertised, with apologies, that due to finances they were forced to raise their prices on their pie.
The other store took advantage of this and advertised that their peach-mango pie was STILL the same price! My wife liked the apple pie, so one morning I got her one, same pie, but more expensive. As for myself, I loved the peach-mango pie. So a few days later I was out early and I pulled into the drive through. Paid for the pie and was on my way. As I dug into the bag to retrieve my pie, I was shocked. The box it was in was no longer a nice rectangle, but was now a little square. I just began to laugh…same price, but half the pie!
I am sure the store that sold the peach-mango pie sold quite a few pies and made good money at first, because many like me just purchase and drive away. What I wonder is how much damage did that plan do to the trust of the customers. I have not returned since then. I am not angry, but it is not that good of a deal now and I do not appreciate the “sly” way they went about it.
This proverb lands on the idea of integrity. To many today, due to listening to the “Big Names” of many in the Church, would be led to believe that our God is a god of profit! God is not interested in profit or poverty, that’s just temporal stuff! What God is interested in are the eternal Characteristics that He desires to reproduce in all of us. One very important characteristic to Him is integrity. Notice, He “detests” the practice of cheating individuals by using scales that are not true. The Hebrew is: תּוֹעֵבָה (tôʿēbâ) and consider how it is used:
Detestable thing, abomination, repulsion, i.e., an object which is loathsome and abhorrent: the object may be a concrete “thing” or a “way” or “practice,” as lifestyle behavior, it can refer to an idol!
These are strong negative thoughts from the Lord, so the idea that you held back a truth or “fudged” a little on the truth to make a profit, is not seen by God as some little issue! I have found through many years of ministry one of the clear markers for integrity of believers is how they deal with others concerning used items they are selling. Whether it be autos, appliances or any other items that we desire to sell. Many a believer has held a “buyer beware” mentality, which permeates the world, but not found in Scriptures, and they gain more money, but sell their integrity! When we do that we lose our credibility!
Credible means: believable, entitled to belief or trust, reliable.
At the heart of credibility lies integrity.
Integrity means: The quality or state of being complete, wholeness; The quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty, and sincerity
Integrity is essential to the Christian life!
"In the church today, the emphasis seems to be on doing and not being. We forget that what we are determines the effectiveness of what we do. The Christian who is a demon at home is not likely to be an angel in the church board meeting or the choir rehearsal." Wiersbe:
"A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you, and were helped by you, will remember you when forget-me-nots are withered. Carve your name on hearts, and not on marble." Spurgeon
Raphael was painting his famous Vatican frescoes when a couple of cardinals stopped by to watch and criticize. `The face of the apostle Paul is too red,' said one. Raphael replied, `He blushes to see into whose hands the church has fallen.'
Here are some thoughts on why Integrity is important to God.
· Integrity is valid with God
Genesis 20:5-6 Did he not say to me, 'She is my sister,' and didn't she also say, 'He is my brother'? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands." Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her.
Abraham had lied to this king and told him that Sarah was his sister. Still, before the king could make the mistake of taking her as his wife, God spoke to him. Notice the reason why…he had a clear conscience. God honored his integrity.
Consider David who was known as the “man after God’s own heart.”
1 Chronicles 29:17 - David speaking to assembly as he steps down "I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.
Psalms 7:8 let the LORD judge the peoples. Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, according to my integrity, O Most High.
Scriptures tell us why God entrusted David with all that He did.
Psalm 78:70–72 He also chose David His servant And took him from the sheepfolds; From the care of the ewes with suckling lambs He brought him To shepherd Jacob His people, And Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them with his skillful hands.
Part of David’s qualifications for his leadership was his integrity.
Do you do your best to be completely honest with God and people? How about honest with yourself? Do you search for reasons why you do what you do, or do you look for excuses?
I have five more points on integrity; we will look at them next time.