Tag Archive | integrity

Is This Preventing Your Blessing? Luke 16:10

Stripes of Shadows.wp

Buddy is a little dog–about 19 pounds–but he has a big personality and casts a big shadow in a room. You definitely know when he is around.

Jesus talked about the importance of the little things that we do.

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is also unrighteous also in much.”–Luke 16:10

God doesn’t just notice the big brave acts or mighty deeds of so-called important Christians: He is omniscient and omnipresent, meaning He sees everything we say, do and think. He is called El Roi–“The God Who Sees’–by Hagar, Abraham’s concubine, after God hears her pleas for help in the desert wilderness after she fled from his wife Sarah’s wrath. (Her son was mocking Isaac, the son born to Sarah and Abraham when they were elderly.) See Genesis 16:13

God cannot trust someone with big responsibilities if they cannot be faithful in the little things, when the stakes to act with integrity are much lower.

I think most people pretty much agree with the Eighth Commandment that God handed down to Moses as a basic guideline to the Jewish nation on how to live godly:

“Thou shall not steal.”–Exodus 20:15

Would you agree that God would not want to bless theft? And, therefore, He might withhold prospering someone financially to get their attention in an area where they might be stealing from another person and not be aware of it? He jealously guards His reputation and wants His people to act with integrity, so that nonbelievers will not slander His church.

Nowadays, these following forms of theft occur far too frequently: Downloading copyrighted music or copying music CDs that should be paid for and aren’t; copying photos or drawings and reselling them in some form, say a book cover or article, without permission to use them or haven’t purchased the rights; copying software loaned from a friend instead of purchasing the original software–this is theft of someone’s copyright.

Creatives depend upon the honesty and integrity of others for their financial support. Sometimes it can mean the difference between making a living or getting discouraged and giving up.

Just because the Internet makes theft easier, doesn’t make it right.

And it doesn’t matter if it’s a large corporation selling the material or an individual creative. Stealing isn’t right, regardless of who is being ripped off. Today I just read an article in the Seattle Times about how thieves are copying people’s books and reselling them online. It’s eating into smaller companies’ and self-publishers’ profits. (See the article by David Streitfeld sourced from The New York Times titled, “Sellers in Amazon’s bookstore feel beaten up by counterfeit Wild West” for the details.)

For example:

Let’s say, Joe obtains a CD from the library. He really enjoyed it, so he copies it to his computer.

That’s theft. Joe should purchase a copy of it.

Alice finds a great cartoon drawing online. She downloads a copy, prints off T-shirts with her own caption and logo, and sells them.

That’s theft. Don’t assume that, just because something is on Google Images or anywhere else on the Internet, that it’s fair game to copy and use it however you’d like.

So if you’re one of the persons who is wondering why you’re tithing and being financially responsible to the best of your ability, working hard and are not lazy, are not coveting or trying to sabotage someone else’s success, encourage and help others to succeed, yet God is not answering your prayers for prosperity, maybe it’s because you’re being unfaithful in a very little thing: stealing someone’s copyrighted material.

And some creative believer might be praying to God to protect their copyrighted material–and praying against you.

Because your little act(s) of theft are having a big consequence on their bottom line.

***

Sorry, but tonight I thought I’d share my pet peeve. I always strive to honor other people’s copyrights because I want my copyrighted material to be respected by others ie, The Golden Rule. It was actually a coincidence that I read the article in the Seattle Times today (6/24/19) at dinnertime as I had already decided to blog on this topic when driving home from work. I think that multiple coincidences in a short period of time can sometimes confirm it’s an issue God wants to highlight. However, please don’t put too much stock in coincidences because, sometimes, that’s just what they are: coincidences and not divine signposts.

And if I hit a sore spot tonight, please remember that if you confess your sin and repent, you’re forgiven. Christians live under an umbrella of forgiveness, bought by the blood of Christ. All our sins are covered by Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. We cannot earn God’s forgiveness. It’s an important distinction: It’s not that God won’t forgive or that He’s mean, but He cannot bless what breaks His rules and, thereby, encourage wrong behavior. He wants us to “walk in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).

Trust God to provide your desires in a manner that glorifies Him and protects your reputation for integrity.

 

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Slander, Proverbs 10:18

Do.No.Wrong

Because I love Buddy, in my eyes he can do no wrong. I excuse his sins that maybe others who don’t love him would more readily recognize.

In 2017 it was very noticeable that people were repeating all sorts of stories about public figures or expressing downright hatred; and often, not being careful to vet what they were repeating was actually true.

When we love someone, it’s very easy to ignore the ugly truth about their misdeeds but, on the other hand, it’s also very easy to believe the very worst about someone that we dislike or despise (although God tells us to love everyone like He does and not hate).

God makes it very clear in His revealed word to us, the Bible, that He HATES slander:

“…he who spreads slander is a fool.”–Proverbs 10:18

“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man;”–Jesus, Matthew 15:19-20

And both apostles Paul and Peter adjured Christians not to slander:

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you along with all malice.”–Paul, Ephesians 4:11

“Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander…”–Peter, 1 Peter 2:1

“There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him; Haughty eyes, a lying tongue…”–Proverbs 6:16-17

In these verses, slander shares top billing with evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, lying, theft, bitterness, clamor, malice, hypocrisy and envy. Slander is not a sin that God looks lightly upon. It destroys people, “murders” their reputations and lives, and “separates intimate friends (Proverbs 16:28)”. It also makes you look like a fool when you repeat something that other people know is wrong.

I don’t believe God wants us to have a pollyanna attitude toward life, whistling in the dark while the city burns around us. But God wants us to, instead, to speak the TRUTH in LOVE (emphasis mine)–Ephesians 4:15

I believe it’s idolatry not to hold your elected officials accountable and to excuse or turn a blind eye to everything they do, because then you’re worshipping them. But I believe, in political debate, we should speak only the TRUTH, or make it clear that what we’re saying is an opinion and not fact, so that we’re not deceiving people. And to have a humble attitude, to “be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those in opposition” (2 Timothy 2:24-25).

I’m no innocent. I’ve learned that I need to verify from different sources that I trust before I repeat something about a public figure. (And this is not about gossip but engaging in debate.) But just because someone is famous, it doesn’t make it right to tell lies about them, no matter if your motive or end goal is good or not.

So as I continue to strive to ensure that I’m not repeating falsehood, I’m imploring others to do the same and debate with accurate facts and truth, not to spread malicious lies just because it’s someone you don’t like or disagree with.

The truth always comes out, eventually. And I want to walk in integrity and have people trust what I say is correct, even if they may disagree.

Every morning, I try to remember to pray: “Lord, please help me to discern truth from error, and fact from fiction. Help me know when someone is lying to me (because I tend to be a tad too trusting).

God bless you. Thanks for reading. I hope you’re having a great New Year.

Dawn and also on Buddy’s behalf

***

Jesus claimed to be “The Way, The Truth, and The Life.” It’s hard to tell truth from error when you don’t have Jesus in your life: It’s easy to be deceived. But Jesus promises that when we invite Him into our heart that “the Spirit of truth comes, (and) He will guide you into all the truth (Jesus, John 16:13)”.

If you want to step into the light of truth, please pray: Dear Jesus, I believe that you died for my sins and took the punishment I deserved. Please forgive me and enter into my heart. I ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me into all truth. Thank you for loving me. Amen.

If you said this prayer, you’ve begun your eternal life and joined the Christian family. Please find a good church to fellowship with and grow in the knowledge of the truth. God bless you.