Strive for Integrity, not Popularity

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. (For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5 NIV) The world needs people who cannot be bought; whose word is their bond; who put character above wealth; who possess opinions and a will; who are larger than their vocations; who don’t hesitate to take chances; who won’t lose their individuality in a crowd; who will be as honest in small things as they are in great things; who will make no compromise with wrong; whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires; who will not say they do it ” because everybody else does it;” who are true to their friends through good report and evil report, in adversity as well as prosperity; who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning and hard-heartedness are the best qualities for winning success; who are not afraid to stand for the truth even when it’s unpopular; who say no with emphasis, even though the rest of the world says yes!
We need to stand for what is theologically correct in this world even if it is politically incorrect. Just because it is legal and culturally acceptable doesn’t mean that it is accepted by Father God. If standing for the truth in this world is seen as being negative then the one who is truth (Jesus) should have been the most negative person that ever walked the face of the earth! Anybody can float downstream with the rest of the dead fish, it takes a live one to swim against the current of this present culture. The same thing that makes crooked rivers makes crooked men: Taking the path of least resistance. For you see, water flows until it hits a rock then it turns, a stump then it turns, a tree then it turns and is now very crooked.
I am reminded of the difference between a surgeon’s scalpel and a murderer’s knife, they both have a razor sharp edge but the first cuts to heal and the second to kill. We must speak the truth in love for the truth in love heals yet truth in harshness kills, and love without truth is simply compromise!
My prayer this morning is that I would be the change in this world that we all who follow King Jesus would want to see. For it is a known fact that most people want to change the world but very few want to change themselves so they therefore remain bound and so is the world they live in! We must have the courage that the little boy in Hans Christian Anderson’s story “The Emperor’s New Clothes” had when he told the king that he was naked even though everyone else in the kingdom was telling him that his clothes were beautiful! He was not being negative, just real! May we be likewise! In Jesus’ Name!

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