What Good is Integrity?
What does integrity look like? It is a quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. Why do people value integrity so much?
Picture this scenario: you have something very precious that you want someone to take care of while you are away on a trip. You have two people to choose from; your older brother and your best friend. Now you know from experience that your brother has been known to misplace things and even make excuses for his failure to be responsible. On the other hand, your best friend has always shown to be faithful with the things under his charge and if he does misplace it, he admits to his mistake. Who would you choose?
Integrity Equals Trust
The answer is quite obvious, you would choose the friend with integrity over your brother any day. Integrity is something that everyone values because it shows that the person can be trusted with even the most precious of treasures. This was the case in Genesis 43.
Previously in Genesis
In the previous chapter, Joseph unofficially reunited with his brothers as they came to get food for the family. The brothers didn’t recognize him, so Joseph used this as an opportunity to test their integrity. After treating them harshly, Joseph let them go back to their father in Canaan, but warned them not to come back to Egypt unless their youngest brother Benjamin was with them.
Benjamin: The Precious Treasure
Now when the food ran out in Genesis 43, Israel commanded the brothers to return to Egypt to buy more food. However Judah reminded his father of the words of Joseph. Now Benjamin was very near and dear to Israel since he thought Joseph was dead and wouldn’t allow him out of his sight.
Making a Guarantee
Knowing full well that the loss of Benjamin would certainly kill his father, Judah in Genesis 43:8-9, declared full responsibility for his younger brother’s safety and if something was to happen to him, he would take the blame. It takes great courage and integrity to make such a promise. This was a great contrast to the Judah who chapters before encouraged his brothers to sell Joseph as a slave. Perhaps Judah did this as a means of redeeming himself for his past crimes. Such sincerity apparently convinced Israel and he allowed Benjamin to be under Judah’s care.
The Cost of Integrity
There is great cost to being a person of integrity. It requires you to follow through with what you say you would do; even when the situation becomes unpleasant or even inconvenient. Nevertheless, having strong moral principles is a strong witness of your faith in God.
What about you? When people talk about you, do they say that you a person that can be trusted? If the answer is no then if you are a follower of Christ, what kind of witness of Him are you showing to those around you?
Mean what you say and do what you say you will do. If we don’t practice the Gospel that we preach then our testimony becomes void. Pray to the Lord to persevere and maintain good witness and integrity; even in the face of persecution.