Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves . . . with integrity and godly sincerity. 2 Corinthians 1:12
In 1524, Martin Luther observed: “Among themselves the merchants have a common rule which is their chief maxim. . . . I care nothing about my neighbor; so long as I have my profit and satisfy my greed.” More than two hundred years later, John Woolman, from Mount Holly, New Jersey, let his commitment to Jesus influence his tailor shop dealings. Out of support for the freeing of slaves, he refused to purchase any cotton or dye supplies from companies that used forced labor. With a clear conscience, he loved his neighbor and lived according to integrity and sincerity in all his dealings.
The apostle Paul strived to live out “integrity and godly sincerity” (2 Corinthians 1:12). When some in Corinth tried to undermine his authority as an apostle for Jesus, he defended his conduct among them. He wrote that his words and actions could withstand the closest scrutiny (v. 13). He also showed that he was dependent on God’s power and grace for effectiveness, not his own (v. 12). In short, Paul’s faith in Christ permeated all his dealings.
As we live as ambassadors for Jesus, may we be careful to let the good news ring out in all our dealings—family, business, and more. When by God’s power and grace we reveal His love to others, we honor Him and love our neighbors well.
How are your words and actions a representation of your faith in Jesus? As a believer in Him, why are integrity and sincerity vital in your dealings with others?
Dear God, help me to serve others with such a clear conscience that my love for them is evident.
For further study, read Outrageous Compassion.
The NIV Bible translation includes twenty-two references to the word integrity. One dictionary defines it as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” This is what the apostle Paul strove to exemplify (2 Corinthians 1:12).
The importance of having integrity is found throughout Scripture. David was said to have “integrity of heart” (Psalm 78:72). And God promised Solomon that “if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever” (1 Kings 9:4–5). In 1 Chronicles 29:17, David says to God, “You test the heart and are pleased with integrity.” Job was such a man of integrity (Job 2:3). The book of Proverbs says, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely” (10:9) and “righteousness guards the person of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner” (13:6).