Week of Monday, May 10 ­– Sunday, May 16
Integrity – Man as a Provider

All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. … When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. — Daniel 6:7, 10

Guys, who are you when no one else is looking? We may think we can hide who we really are in secret, but God sees. God knows. And often, in His providential ways, other people come to know as well. Just ask high-profile business leaders, celebrities, talk-show hosts, and even pastors and ministry leaders who lost their jobs or have been disgraced and humiliated in the past few years over something they said or did in private. True integrity doesn’t shift based on the people present or on the situation. True integrity stays consistent through each moment of our lives.

My friend Dr. Tony Evans once said, “Far too many of us men are lowering the standard—dunking at a lower standard and thinking we’ve done something. Rather than keeping God’s standard high and saying we’ve got to raise ourselves to meet His standard, we’ve allowed the world to dumb down God’s standard of manhood, God’s standard of what it means to be a husband and a father, God’s standard of our roles in the church, and the influence we’re to be having. We ought to be making an impact on society. Therefore, we have dumbed down our integrity.”[1]

Daniel was a man of true integrity. He didn’t lower the standard. Do you know why? It wasn’t that he was oblivious to the risks. At the very least, he could have lost his position. At the worst, he could have lost his life. As we read further, we know what happened as a result of Daniel praying to his God in open defiance to the king’s edict. He was sentenced for execution by being thrown into a den of lions. Even though Daniel knew that might happen, he boldly prayed with the windows open so that all could see. Why? Because he believed God alone was his source and his strength. He knew that a time would come when he would stand before the Lord and give an account of the decisions and actions in his life.  (Remember that each of us who has been redeemed by God’s Grace will stand before God at the Judgement Seat of Christ and give an account of our lives since God saved us). Daniel stood courageous in the face of death because he believed God owned the outcome. And we all know that in the end God indeed miraculously delivered Daniel from those ferocious lions, but the courageous integrity of this 80-year-old still inspires me.

Men, realize that God is your source for everything you treasure in life. Your boss isn’t your source. Even your family isn’t. God alone is your source as well as your strength to get you through whatever hell throws at you.  So here is the question: Where in your life do you need to throw open the windows, so to speak, and boldly demonstrate true integrity? God has given you the role of provider for your family. Will you lower the standard?  Or will you provide an identity of unshakable integrity for your family? President Reagan used to talk about raising a “banner of bold, unmistakable colors, not pale pastels,” to rally people around. Men, it is time to raise that banner and declare who we are and whose we are and provide a courageous example of integrity for all to see and call them to it.
  • What’s wrong with the idea that a man’s lack of integrity doesn’t hurt anyone? What’s one practical action you can take this week to align yourself further with God’s standard of integrity?
  • What are some ways we men may seek to rationalize our way out of complete obedience to God in the face of risk and sacrifice their integrity? Confess to God any weakness in this area and ask for His strength. Look for some ways this week you can begin to raise the banner of integrity as a rally point for others.
  • Acknowledge that God alone is your source and strength. Ask Him to mold you into a man of true integrity so that you might provide an enduring example of courageous integrity to your family and friends.
   [1] No More Excuses (2019) [DVD], Session 5: No More Compromising Your Integrity, Lifeway Christian Resources