WEEK 2, DAY 10: INTEGRITY
Scripture Reference: Mark 10:1-31
Integrity isn’t for cowards. Integrity means doing what is right even when it hurts. It means being honest and dependable, all the time. It means people can always trust you to do the right thing. It’s the best reputation you could possible have. “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” —C.S. Lewis
In May of 2005 American professional tennis player Andy Roddick was playing Fernando Verdasco, of Spain, in the Masters tennis tournament in Rome, Italy. Roddick was the number one seed in the tournament and a heavy favorite to win the match. Roddick dominated as expected. He had triple match point when something extremely unusual happened. Roddick couldn’t return Verdasco’s hard second serve. The linesman called the serve out and awarded Roddick the point and the match. With the crowd cheering Verdasco ran to the net to shake Roddick’s hand and congratulate him on his victory.
However, Roddick knew something that the linesman, the umpire, the cheering crowd, and Verdasco himself didn’t know. The serve had not been out, but had hit on the line, making it in. Roddick could have kept this information to himself and accepted the victory. Instead he informed the umpire that the ball had been in and offered to show him the mark on the clay where the ball had hit. The umpire reversed the call and awarded the point to Verdasco.
THE IMPORTANCE OF INTEGRITY
Verdasco, given a second chance, made the most of it and came back to win the game, the set and the match. This was a highly improbable victory, especially considering not long before he had been standing at the net ready to concede. A sportswriter, Frank DeFord, estimated Roddick’s honesty cost him “tens of thousands of dollars.” And he may have lost much more if he had gone on to win the tournament. It was clear that integrity was more important to Roddick than either winning or money.
Do we do the right thing, even when it isn’t to our advantage? It is imperative that we model integrity for our children. Mark Musser said, “Children who see parents model care, love, respect, generosity, self-control, integrity, and faith in Christ are much more likely to exhibit those traits in their own lives.” It is amazing how much children copy their parents. This is nowhere more evident than in the school setting. I’m pretty sure a teacher must have thought up the saying: “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!” I suspect that if we really knew how true this was, we would be far more careful how we conducted our lives. The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6 NIV).
— Cynthia Dawson, This Is My Journey Unscripted
Time to contemplate:
The Bible teaches us to have integrity in everything we do:
- “Because of my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever” (Psalm 41:12 NIV).
- “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity” (Proverbs 11:3 NIV).
- “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24 NIV)”
Teach us Lord to have integrity in all that we do. Create in us the character of Christ. Renew our minds according to Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen