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There will be plenty of people out there to question your motives and make judgments on your actions. They will drag up your past, embellish your failures and mock any positive changes you attempt. People tend to remember your failures long before they remember your positive attributes. Sometimes the voices in your head are your own worst enemy and biggest critic.

To get the truth about a book you ask the author. To learn the workings of your car you ask a mechanic. To find out how your body works you ask a doctor. To find out who you really are, ask the creator. His word about you is completely reliable because he knows your heart and loves you in spite of it.

Many people spend their entire lives trying to meet the expectations of other people, but the only one that really counts is your Heavenly Father. The closer you grow to him, the more you risk being attacked by others, but the closer you grow to him the more confident you can be in who you are.


There are many who try to make a name for themselves. Some focus on money and a good retirement package. Some seek gain from sports or try to live vicariously through their children. Some try new relationships. Success in material things is short-lived at best. Lasting wealth isn’t counted in dollars and cents but in a life of integrity. You can disagree with ones beliefs, but you can’t argue their integrity. Money handed down to your children brings temporary joy but a good name lasts forever.


Buy the truth and do not sell it— wisdom, instruction and insight as well. Proverbs 23:23

When you want something of value you save every penny to get it. Let’s say, for example, you are a collector of fine art and you find a rare painting by your favorite artist, You decide you MUST have this painting so you plan on how to get it.

You give up other things of less importance; cut back on other expenses; perhaps get a second job. You study up on this particular painting and find out all you can about it. You become an ‘expert’ on this cherished of all possessions and the artist who created it.

After all your labors, on that day of all days, if you’ve worked hard and scrimped and saved, the time arrives. You go to the seller to make the purchase. You examine it one more time making sure there are no flaws and that everything is just as it should be. Once assured of this you lay down all that you have to make that cherished possession yours. Success has come. The fruit of all your labor and sacrifice has come. Let the celebration begin.

Now that the picture is hanging securely on the wall, how much would you sell it for? You would no doubt look at me incredulously. “Sell it? I just bought it!” you say. “Do you realize how much I’ve given up for it? The ball games I’ve missed. The fishing trips I’ve passed up? The party invitations I’ve passed on? It’s NOT for sale. No amount of money in the world would be enough. It’s mine.”

Solomon, in all of his wisdom, had enough money to buy anything and everything he wanted. Yet he tells us in Proverbs 23:23 what is really important: Truth. In our world of relativity Truth with a capital ‘T’ is hard to come by. We’ve bought into the idea that Truth is what you make it. What’s true for me isn’t true for you. Honesty is dependent on the situation. Wisdom changes with every new philosophy and whim of mindless, science based religion.

As Christ-followers, each of us is given Truth by the God of the universe, through His Word (the Bible) and His Son Jesus Christ. He has given us His Holy Spirit so that we can gain wisdom in understanding His ways and insight into how to walk this journey we call life. Seek after the Truth He has to offer us by drawing close to Him in relationship. Read His Word. It is still the only source of real truth available. Pray daily and often. What a marvelous opportunity prayer is. To think that we as mere mortals can talk personally with the Creator of the Universe! Don’t let past mistakes and your inability to understand God completely keep you from spending time getting to know Him. As God’s cherished possession, He has given all He has to acquire you and He’ll never let you go.

PRAYER: Father God, there are so many voices that are calling out to me to be tolerant of this or accepting of that. There are so ideas out there that confuse me as to what is right and wrong. I confess to you that I’ve not always followed you as I should. I ask for Your Holy Spirit to empower me to grow in relationship and understanding of Your ways so that they become a part of my daily existence. Thank you for giving so much so that I can live in Truth. In Jesus name, Amen.


“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. Luke 16:10

Jesus tells the story of a man who was caught cheating by his employer. As a result of the dishonesty the man was informed that he would lose his job. Before he was fired he went to all the people that owed his boss money and gave them huge discounts. While this further cheated his boss, it made the man many friends. We aren’t told in the story, but no doubt these people were willing to help the dishonest person because he helped them.

The lesson from this story is that honesty isn’t dependent on the amount entrusted but on the sense of responsibility a person has to those who trust him. The man in the story may have been considered generous by those he gave discounts to, but in reality, he wasn’t concerned in the least about their well-being. He was really only concerned about himself.

Our view of ourselves has a huge part to play on whether we are honest or dishonest. Many times we will lie to cover up our own mistakes, choosing to blame others instead of accepting the responsibility. Other times we may lie to make ourselves look better. We don’t want to admit we are weak, so we lie to make ourselves look better than someone else.

Dishonesty at any level destroys our entire reputation. If I lie about a little thing, then I most likely will lie about bigger things as well. On small amount of dirt in a clear glass of water taints the whole glass and makes it undrinkable. In the same way one little lie, on little act of deception tarnishes our entire character.

As Christ-followers each of us is responsible for making sure we are men and women of integrity and trust. There is no place in our lives for any action that has it’s basis on avoiding responsibility for our actions or making others look bad for our own benefit.

Grace teaches us that we are, in some senses, completely helpless to live a life of purity and perfection. There will be times when we fail in our attempt to be honest. There may be times when our actions are misunderstood as being malicious when they are not. Those are the times we can come to our Savior, Jesus Christ, for forgiveness, and strength to continue on.

Start with the small things. As you learn to trust Him for strength in the small areas of your weakness you will find it easier to tackle the larger areas where you tend to be dishonest. Jesus didn’t come to condemn liars. He came to empower them to be honest.

PRAYER: Father you know that I tend to be dishonest in some of the things I say. I ask that you would forgive me for those times. Empower me by your Spirit to be willing to accept responsibility for my actions. Enable me to be a person of integrity for your sake. Amen.


When the days of mourning had passed, Joseph said to Pharaoh’s court, “If I have found favor in your eyes, speak to Pharaoh for me. Tell him, ‘My father made me swear an oath and said, “I am about to die; bury me in the tomb I dug for myself in the land of Canaan.” Now let me go up and bury my father; then I will return.’ “ Genesis 50:4-5

 Yet another chapter in the life of Joseph had come to an end. He’d enjoyed living within the blessing of his father in a large family. He’d experienced the humiliation of being rejected by his own brothers and sold as a common slave. He’d lived through years of suspicion as a result of false accusations. He’d struggled through the stress of leading an entire nation through difficult economic times as a result of a major drought. Egypt became a great nation because of the honest and generous dealings of Joseph. He’d rejoiced in the reconciliation of his family.

Now, his father Jacob had died. The death of a father is never easy. It doesn’t matter if it is early in life or during adulthood. Losing dad is tough. Even when a father has been abusive, absent or alienated that loss is traumatic.

After Jacob died and the mourning rituals were complete it was time for him to be laid to rest. As he was dying he’d asked Joseph for one thing, to be laid to rest in his homeland, the land of his father Abraham, Canaan.

Joseph had always been a man of his word. This time would be no exception. Gaining special permission and the blessing of Pharaoh, Joseph and a large contingent of his family went to Canaan for the burial.

This was no small task, nor was it an ordinary request. Yet it was granted gladly by Pharaoh. Joseph was a major figure in the government of Egypt. To let him go with a large group of people had mutiny and political threat written all over it. Still, he was granted that favor. Why?

Joseph was allowed to go bury Jacob because throughout his life Joseph had proven to be a man of integrity. In all of his business dealings he’d proven that he could be trusted and that he was a man of his word.

Secondly, Joseph lived in a land where many gods were worshipped. Even though the Egyptians didn’t follow Jehovah God as the people of Jacob did, they were impressed with the honesty, the hard work and the devotion of God’s people.

Joseph gained the respect of those around him because he was devoted first to God and then to his neighbor. It wasn’t until long after Joseph died that the Egyptian government turned against God’s people. His testimony lived on for many years.

Each of us, as Christ-followers, can take a lesson from the life of Joseph. We are being constantly watched and scrutinized by those around us to see if our faith really makes a difference in our lives. Can we be trusted? Do we do what we say we’ll do? Are our business dealings honest? Are we someone that can be counted on to offer support emotionally, physically or spiritually to anyone regardless of what they have done to us?

Few of us have had the life that Joseph had. We’ve not been in prison, sold as slaves or rejected by family. Few of us have stayed the course and remained people of integrity as well. Our past mistakes don’t matter to God. He can use you no matter what you have done.

PRAYER: Jehovah God when I look at the life of Joseph I’m both amazed and embarrassed. I’ve not suffered to the extent he did, yet I’ve made some pretty stupid decisions that have kept me from being the man/woman of integrity I know you want me to be. I ask that you forgive me for the times I didn’t stand strong. Empower me to live more fully for you so that your love may flow out to those around me. I ask this for your sake and in the name of your son Jesus Christ. Amen.

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