Integrity has often been described as what you do when no one is watching. Some things may be legal but they may not be moral. What serves as the umpire of your life so that you can distinguish between the two? Just because we can do something does not mean that we should do it. Every believer needs some code or standard that helps him or her make these crucial decisions.
There was a custom that governors and political leaders would get generous perks because of their service. Nehemiah, though he was entitled to these benefits, forfeited them because of the harm that it would do to the people who were already struggling. Was it his right? Yes. But, was it moral? No! Why would Nehemiah make a decision like this, which put a greater burden on him and a lesser burden on others? It’s simple: The Fear of the Lord.
You see, when all is said and done, we will have to stand before God and give an account of our actions. Nehemiah understood that even though he was a servant of the king, he answered to a higher authority. How about you? If your position affords you certain inducements that unfairly put a strain on others, will your fear of God cause you to forego them? It may not be a benefit but an action that you take. Whatever it is, even if it is legally right, you have to ask, “Will it please God?”
One day you will have to stand before God and tell Him why you took certain actions. Keeping this in mind will always keep you in line with God and His purposes.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Nehemiah 7:73-9:21; 1 Corinthians 9:1-18; Psalm 33:12-22; Proverbs 21:11-12