“Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool. Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the LORD. Wealth brings many new friends, but a poor man is deserted by his friend. A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape. Many seek the favor of a generous man, and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts. All a poor man’s brothers hate him; how much more do his friends go far from him!” Proverbs 19:1-7
Here is a story for you. The man was a little different. His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans, and sandals. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He is brilliant. Kind of living a simple life and is very, very bright and outgoing. He became a Christian while attending college. Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church. They want to develop a ministry to the students but are not sure how to go about it. One day Bill decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started and so Bill starts down the aisle looking for a seat. The church is completely packed and he can’t find a seat. By now people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit and, when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick. About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Bill. Now the deacon is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves that you can’t blame him for what he’s going to do.
How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor? It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy. The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man’s cane. All eyes are focused on him. You can’t even hear anyone breathing. The minister can’t even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do. And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor.
With great difficulty, he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill, and joins with him so he won’t be alone. Everyone chokes up with emotion. When the minister gains control, he says, “What I’m about to share, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget.
Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read.” Pray for God to be your only source of integrity today. Pray for God to give your opportunities for integrity today. Integrity is contagious. Live like Jesus all day today!!