Your Integrity Shows Your Faithfulness
BY RICK WARREN — SEPTEMBER 12, 2019
“Whoever is faithful in small matters will be faithful in large ones; whoever is dishonest in small matters will be dishonest in large ones” (Luke 16:10 GNT).
It’s common today to hear people say, “What you do in your private life is nobody’s business.” Well, that isn’t really true. What you do in your private life—behind closed doors or out of view of other people—builds and reveals your true character. And God sees it just as clearly as the things you do in public.
In fact, the small, unseen things you do are the seeds to God’s public blessing on your life. You cannot compartmentalize your life and say, “I have integrity in my public life, just not in my private life.” I bet you could make a list right now of public figures that have tried to live this way, only to have their private indiscretions lead to public scandal and personal downfall. No matter what they say, any leader who is not faithful in small matters will not be faithful in large matters.
This principle is nothing new. Jesus said, “If you have not been faithful with what belongs to someone else, who will give you what belongs to you?” (Luke 16:12 GNT).
For centuries, everybody who learned a skill, trade, or vocation learned it through an apprenticeship. If you were going to be a mechanic, you apprenticed to another mechanic and served in that person’s business before you started your own. As the apprentice, you had to be responsible with your master’s business before you were entrusted with your own.
This principle of apprenticeship applies to every area of your life. It applies to how you handle other people’s money, how you handle other people’s possessions, and even how you handle other people’s ministry before God gives you your own.
Before God gave me my own ministry, I served as a youth pastor under another man’s ministry. God was watching how I handled it; he was testing my integrity. I needed to prove my faithfulness in that ministry before God would allow me to lead the ministry of Saddleback Church.
If someone loans you a car, how well do you take care of it? If a family lets you stay in their house for vacation, do you treat it as well as you treat your own home? When no one is watching at your job, do you work diligently?
God is watching and testing your integrity. You show that you can be trusted with the big things by being faithful in the small things.
Talk It Over
What has God entrusted to you that he uses to test your integrity?
Where in your life is it most difficult to be faithful in the small things?
Does it change anything for you in your private life to remember that God sees everything? Why or why not?