By Steve Greene
God has promised to reward integrity. He will reward you in this life and in eternity.
Proverbs 28:20 says, “A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.”
Whenever a person is trying to get rich quickly, they’re headed for trouble. God has one word to say about get-rich-quick schemes. Don’t do it. Don’t be stupid. Don’t be foolish.
Wealth is accumulated by adding a little to proper investments, by wise savings, by hard work, by honesty, by good stewardship and by investing in things that count, and most of all by investing in people.
God is getting us ready for eternity right now. He’s testing us through things like trials and problems, through temptation and through money. If I respond correctly and do the right thing, there will be rewards in heaven.
It is wise to understand that our conduct here on earth will have an impact in heaven and on eternity. That is definitely the message of the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25.
If you want to get started on the road to integrity or living a life of integrity, here are some things you can do.
First, make restitution when possible. Restitution means making right my wrong.
A good example of restitution is the story of Zacchaeus found in Luke 19. Jesus came to town one day, and Zacchaeus, being a short person, couldn’t see over the crowd, so the Bible says he climbed up in a tree so he could see Jesus. As Jesus was walking by, he looked up and saw Zacchaeus and said, “Come down. I’m coming to your house today.”
This dinner engagement created quite a scandal. Zacchaeus was a dishonest tax collector. In the Roman system, tax collectors would skim off the top of whatever they could collect. Tax collectors were the wealthiest people in town and the most hated. They were typically the most dishonest. But Jesus went to his house for dinner.
Zacchaeus confessed that he had been doing the wrong thing. He said, “I’m going to get my life on the right track. I’m going to start doing what God wants.” He told Jesus, “If I have cheated anyone, I will pay him back four times as much.”
There’s a guy who was putting his money where his mouth was. That’s what restitution looks like.
Next time, we’ll make personal application on this subject of restitution.
You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at [email protected].