Proverbs 10:9 – “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.”
It’s a story that could be played out in any modern corporation. A young man, let’s call him Dave, interns with a growing yet successful family firm and excels in the small tasks given to him, starting in the mailroom. Through quick insight and a pivotal decision to step up to the plate, Dave resolves a significant issue for the company while still in an entry-level position and thus saves the company from ruin. As time passes, he is recognized by the CEO and offered a job within the close, tight-knit inner circle. The young man becomes a trusted ally of the CEO’s son, John. Together, John and Dave bring increasing success to the business, so much so that the company’s very name causes their rivals to envy. Dave’s integrity, savvy business sense, killer instincts, and complete undivided loyalty to the firm put him in the spotlight, and he soon gained a loyal following.
Eventually, it occurs to the CEO that he’d better keep an eye on that charismatic young man. Dave has more business sense and charisma than he ever did. Dave’s boss notices that those who used to look to him for leadership advice are now turning to Dave. Dave’s loyalty, integrity, and courage are attractive in a world where top influencers seldom display such character traits. The CEO finds himself pushed out of the public’s adoration. He sees how Dave is sought out for interviews and invited to speak at business forums.
The CEO’s insecurity deepens. He begins to suspect that it’s only a matter of time until this young man tries to steal his position. He suspects Dave to have ulterior motivations. In reality, none are to be found. He no longer trusts his son’s intentions; after all, John is close friends with Dave. With ruthless cunning born from jealousy, envy, and greed, the CEO dismisses Dave from his company and then does his best to ruin Dave’s reputation through vicious smear campaigns in the media and hostile takeover attempts.
Dave’s associates urged him to retaliate and destroy the company head who mistreated him. After all, he’d be justified. It would have floundered without Dave’s diligent, unwavering service to his former firm. The young man refuses to give in to the temptation to fight back and even makes several attempts to bring reconciliation.
Ultimately, the CEO’s obsession with destroying Dave causes him to make foolish decisions in all areas of his business, and he loses everything, taking his son down with him. Dave eventually takes over the corporation, leaving a lasting hallmark for generations.
You’ve probably deduced by now that the above scenario is a modernization of the story of David and King Saul found in 1 Samuel, chapters 18-31. David’s noble response to Saul’s unrelenting assaults allowed God to work on his behalf. David’s actions that sprang forth from a heart full of integrity, courage, and loyalty brought forth a harvest of blessings that carried forward to countless generations after him.
1 Samuel 26:23-24 – “The Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the Lord gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. Behold, as your life was precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the Lord, and may he deliver me out of all tribulation.”
Joseph understood this principle as well, and he says as much to his brothers in Genesis 50:19-21
“Do not fear, for am I in the place of God. As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive as they are today. Do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.”
God blesses those who choose to live with integrity, loyalty, and courage.
Joshua and Caleb, Daniel, Esther, Ruth, and Nehemiah are just a few Biblical characters who chose to live lives marked with courage, loyalty, and integrity when it would have been much easier if they bowed to their day’s social, economic, and political structures. As you read the accounts of their exploits, remember that these were everyday folk. Most Biblical heroes stepped out of obscurity into the public arena where the character of their hearts, already established, were exposed for all to see.
When adversity, persecution, and character assassination are met with integrity, courage, and loyalty, God can work through our lives. He does so by transforming what was intended to bring us evil into personal and corporate blessings.
If you are facing such a situation today, take courage. No, literally, TAKE courage. Grab it! Ask the Lord for the boldness to step past your fear of earthly consequences as you step forward in humble obedience. Your actions today will ripple down to future generations!
Until Next Week
©2023 Katherine Walden
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