Integrity vs. Popularity
“Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:26 NIV)
One day, you’ll give an account of your life before God. When you keep that in mind and have that kind of long-term thinking, it’s going to change what you say, what you do, and who you try to impress. It’s the people-pleaser antidote.
When you take that long look and realize you’re going to give an account for every word you say today, you’ll ask yourself, “Do I want God disapproving of what I just said or did, or do I want this person disapproving of what I just said or did?”
I know this because I’ve been interviewed on lots of tv shows. In those broadcasts, they will ask me the toughest questions possible. They want to put me on the spot and, because I believe a certain thing, make me look like a bigot or a fool. They intentionally try to get me to back down off of what the Bible says.
When I’m in those interviews, my human nature wants to be liked, just like yours does. My human nature wants to compromise, divert, punt, and leave out the truth. I’ve actually heard guys being asked those questions on tv and they’ll say, “I just leave that up to God” or “Everybody has to make up their own mind.” There’s a word for that: cop-out! Those are politically correct, people-pleasing cop-outs. Those people are not standing for the truth.
In those moments, when I could say something that would be politically correct and wouldn’t offend but would be a lie, I remember these truths –
First, I remember what Jesus Christ did for me on the cross. He didn’t deny me. He didn’t back down for me. He died for my sins. I owe him my life. He created me. He saved me. He forgave me. He’s taking me to Heaven. I’m not going to deny him.
Second, I remember that one day I’m going to give an account to God. And at that point God’s going to say, “What did you say in that interview? What did you say in that conversation at work? What did you say to your friend at school?” I remember that integrity is more important than popularity. And I’m not going to give up my integrity.
Finally, I tell the truth, and I let the chips fall.
The Bible says in Luke 9:26, “Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (NIV).
Talk About It
• What kinds of words are you more likely to say that you know won’t please God?
• How can you change a situation so you are more likely to honor God with your words?
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