Nehemiah faced a difficult choice. The people’s vineyards, lands, and houses were at risk because of outrageous taxes imposed by the king. Now, the people suffered doubly as their own Jewish leaders extended loans with enormous interest rates. Their leaders behaved like loan sharks! Nehemiah could’ve taken the easy way out and kept quiet. Instead, he chose integrity.
When we face a difficult decision, remember Nehemiah’s example. Nehemiah didn’t make assumptions based on one person’s story. He heard several people’s accounts and saw their sufferings (Nehemiah 5:1-5). Nehemiah heard the people’s outcry and pondered them in his mind (Nehemiah 5:7). He didn’t say the first thing that came to mind. He thought carefully about what he was hearing and how to respond. Then, Nehemiah confronted those in authority. His integrity and obedience blessed the people of Israel.
In light of all Jesus has done, how can we respond with integrity and obedience? It’s not that we behave or perform to attain some kind of acceptance with God or others. If you want to know if you’re living with integrity, ask yourself:
Our integrity matters. We do not have to cave to peer pressure. We can devote ourselves fully to the work God has placed before us. We make a difference with integrity because Jesus already made a difference in us.
When was the last time you were forced to choose between easy and integrity?
Father, Help me obey even when it’s tough. Help me to do what’s right even when my reputation is on the line.
Kiefer is the Worship Leader at Pleasant Grove Reformed Church, outside of the church he is a creative director and graphic artist.
At 11 A.M. for our worship service!