Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Living With Integrity

In Mark 14:53-72, we read where two men are being questioned. Jesus is being questioned by the High Priest. Peter is being questioned by one of the servant-girls of the High Priest. Both men give answer to their questioners...one with integrity...one without.

Jesus tells the truth, but more importantly, He represents Himself truthfully. When asked if He is "the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One," He could have "skirted" the issue and told them He was only a prophet or a teacher. Instead, He answers by saying, "I am." Jesus knew the consequences of this answer, and yet, He lived with integrity even when it would lead to His death.

Peter tells lies, but more importantly, he represents himself falsely. When asked if he was "with Jesus the Nazarene," he answers by saying, "I don't know what on earth you're talking about" and again, "I don't know this man you're talking about." Peter knew the consequences of telling the truth, and he chose to lie in order to protect himself.

Mark, the Gospel writer, contrasts Jesus and Peter clearly. While life and death are at stake for both men, their integrity is also at stake. How do you represent yourself to others? Do people see "the real" you, or do people see one person in public that is totally different from the person you are in private? Jesus calls us to authentic faith and to holy living. Jesus calls us to live by faith in private as well as in public.

Confess to God today the areas in your life where you lack integrity. Pray for His transforming grace to help you live with integrity in every aspect of your life.

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