One of my favorite all-time TV series is Seinfeld. You can ask me pretty much any Seinfeld trivia, and I will most likely give the correct answer. My brother-in-law, Alan, and I will frequently compare Robertson family experiences with a Seinfeld episode, especially when we travel as a group. It seems we have quite a few “Seinfeld Moments”. One of the recurring story lines in the series is how Elaine promises to lock secrets in her imaginary “vault”. She will try to convince the others to let her in on the juicy scoop, promising them she will secure it away in this vault, never to be opened again. That usually does the trick, and she is then included in the valuable news of the inner circle…until that fateful day when she opened the vault and disclosed a closely-held secret. That was it. She was done for. All integrity was lost. No more did her friends trust her with priceless information.
Although Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David wrote these life-altering moments in a most hilarious and entertaining way, they appealed directly to the audience due in major part because so many of us can relate. God created the human nature to desire relationships, to want to be a part of people’s lives. Integrity plays a major role in building relationships. People want to know if you mean what you say and say what you mean. Few things feel worse than when someone tells you they will be there for you at a certain time or date but then change their plans because a better invitation came their way. It doesn’t feel any better when you find out someone you trusted has betrayed that trust by repeating something you told them in confidence. Proverbs 25:9-10 says, “…Do not betray another man’s confidence or he who hears you may shame you, and you will never lose your bad reputation.” God wants us to be people of character, honesty and integrity. Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”
Integrity doesn’t just happen by chance. Sometimes, there are tough decisions to make, especially when something much more enjoyable just opened its arms to you after you have obligated yourself to a friend or relative. There’s another proverb that is commonly used. It says, “It is easier to get forgiveness rather than permission.” As that may be true, it only benefits one party and may end up deeply hurting the relationship. Besides, I can’t find that particular proverb anywhere in the Bible. And believe me, I’ve looked!
Will you join me this week in striving to be a person of honesty and integrity? If so, make a pledge right now and ask God to help you keep it. You know that He will ALWAYS come through for you.