Thursday, April 15th, 2010
"For those walking in integrity [Jehovah] is a shield." (Proverbs 2:7)
Jehovah dignifies us with the privilege of deciding whether we will be people of integrity. Happily, though, he does not simply leave us on our own in the matter. He teaches us how to build this precious quality, and he gives us generously of his holy spirit, which helps us apply his teachings. (Luke 11:13) He even provides spiritual protection for those who endeavor to walk in integrity. How has Jehovah taught us to be integrity keepers? Above all, by sending his Son, Jesus, to the earth. Jesus lived a course of perfect obedience. He "became obedient as far as death." (Philippians 2:8) In everything that he did, Jesus obeyed his heavenly Father, even when it was extremely difficult. "Let, not my will, but yours take place," he said to Jehovah. (Luke 22:42) Each of us does well to ask himself, 'Do I have a similarly obedient spirit?' By pursuing a course of obedience with the right motive, we will be integrity keepers.
(Watchtower issue: 12/15/08, 2:3, 4)
Sometimes I'm so amazed when I read accounts about the extremely difficult circumstances that other Witnesses have faced over the years, while continuing to persevere in the ministry and maintain a joyful outlook at the same time. And when I think about the physical torture, beatings, and imprisonment that so many have been forced to endure (such as the yearbook experience that I'm going to post today), I wonder how anyone can maintain their integrity for so long while suffering so terribly.
But I learned an important point (which was brought out by a circuit overseer at the District Convention a few years back), that really helped clarify this for me. He emphasized the fact, that maintaining spiritual integrity is not dependent on personal willpower or our own physical strength and endurance, since God's servants aren't *superhuman* or perfect, like Jesus was. But rather, it's entirely dependent on Jehovah's spirit, which gives us the needed help to maintain our integrity...no matter what situation presents itself.
He said:"Our integrity does not have a breaking point."
The only person who can break our integrity to God, is US. It's a personal choice. And that's a *guarantee* we can be confident of, based on Jehovah's promise to us:
"...God is faithful, and he will not let YOU be tempted beyond what YOU can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out in order for YOU to be able to endure it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)
God promises to give us the needed strength and ability to endure whatever obstacle or trial presents itself. So if any situation arises that seems too difficult (from a human standpoint), and we feel we are at our "breaking point" and can't physically, mentally, or emotionally take anymore, God has given us the assurance that he will step in at that point to "make the way out" in order for us to endure it and maintain our integrity to him. The reason many people have failed in this regard, (where others have succeeded), is due to the fact that alot of times people tend to give up on themselves and throw in the towel too soon, without truly relying on God's strength to pull them through it. But the many successful examples of "integrity keepers" (from Biblical times down to the present day), gives us firm evidence that success is possible, if we fully rely on Jehovah to help us, and don't give up.