Sunday, February 10, 2008

Men of Integrity

“Men don't follow titles, they follow courage.” William Wallace, Braveheart

The other day my friend called me up with some challenging news. Recently, he had given his life back to the Lord and wanted to start his life over again. Yet, some of his past actions caught up. He told me he just found out he got a young woman pregnant and wasn't sure what to do. This pregnancy came out of a one night stand. He told me if he was his old self, he would have just aborted the child. Instead, after prayer and some godly counsel, he knew he had to do the right thing. He called back the young woman, told her she should keep the baby and give it up for adoption, if not, he would take responsibility for the child. I'm proud of my bro, cause he did what was right. He took responsibility for his wrong actions. For most they would see the situation as an incovenience, but integrity is about thinking of others before yourself. Irresponsibility is doing what is good for yourself at the expense of others having to suffer, for your wrongdoing. Integrity is doing what is right, even when it hurts to do so. Even when it is inconvient for you. When my boy told her he wanted her to have the child, she was shocked. She told him her father didn't want her when she was born, nor did the current father of her other child. Neither of them paid child support. I knew God was using this situation to redeem what was done wrong and make it right.

Integrity is everything. Without integrity you have nothing. When you lose your integrity, you lose your honor. When you lose your honor, you lose yourself. I've been really burdended lately with this challenge to live a life of integrity. It's not easy, I must admit. The temptation is in front of your face everyday. Society praises wrong doing and unrighteous living. It's so easy to compromise. Yet, where are the men of real courage? It takes a real man, with real courage, to swear to his hurt and not change from the path of righteousness. I pray that I can be that man, I pray that all of us would. Why? Everywhere I look it seems that integrity has been lost from our society.

When I found out about the Edison Chen Hong Kong sex scandal, my heart was broken. Here is a young pop icon, who has lived a reckless life, much like the prodigal son and now his sins have found him out. Thousands of pictures of him engaging in sexual immorality with over a dozen HK female superstars have been leaked on the internet. I pray that each of them would find grace, mercy and God's forgiveness. At the same time, I can't point the finger. I recognize that it is easy for anyone to fall from grace in this day and age. It doesn't matter if you are a celebrity, a pastor like myself or anybody, we are all just one step away from falling into temptation. Look at Pastor Ted Haggard, the mega-church pastor who fell from Christian superstardom into homosexuality, to God knows where now. The temptation in these last days will only escalate. Darkness will increase, as will light. The question is, what kind of man will you be? What kind of men will you surround yourself with? I heard once "You hang with pigs, you'll act like a pig. You hang with eagles and you will soar with the eagles." People are like elevators, they either take you up or they take you down. It's our choice who we ultimately grow to become. May we each choose to make the hard decisions, which are the right decisions. For wide is the path to the road of destruction. Narrow is the path that leads to life.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Robert Frost

I am praying that God would make me a man of integrity. One who does what is right no matter the cost. If there is anything I can ask for, I ask for integrity, that I may walk in the fear of the Lord all the days of my life. I pray that I would finish well. This would be my greatest prayer, knowing that I will need God's help in times of temptation, when it counts the most. I also pray earnestly that God would raise up young men who walk in purity, honesty and integrity as did the heroes from the days of old. We need them badly in this hour, it's too easy to compromise. Lord raise up a standard when the enemy comes in like a flood. We need new role models, we need leaders who don't lead by position or power, but ones who lead by integrity of the heart.

Psalm 15
Description of a Citizen of Zion.
A Psalm of David.

1 O LORD, who may abide in Your tent?

Who may dwell on Your holy hill?

2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,

And speaks truth in his heart.

3 He does not slander with his tongue,

Nor does evil to his neighbor,

Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;

4 In whose eyes a reprobate is despised,

But who honors those who fear the LORD;

He swears to his own hurt and does not change;

5 He does not put out his money at interest,

Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent

He who does these things will never be shaken.


At 2/10/2008 08:41:00 AM , Anonymous Annie said...

hi jae, I m in hk and feel bad abt wht happen with Edison. yea, u r right. it influences many ppl. Everybody talks about it everyday. I m not ganna judge anyone. ppl are in the darkness if they are not walk with Jesus. Plz pray for their salvation and the media. thx for your prayer and your attention about wht happen in the world. I believe God will shape you as a man of integrity. Happy Chinese New year. God bless ya!!

At 2/10/2008 06:00:00 PM , Anonymous Richard said...

Braveheart is such an awesome movie! I remember that you referenced it at the Luke 18 Project, and I just wrote an article for my college's interfaith publication about how Robert the Bruce changed my life. I love the scene where he says, "I don't want to lose heart!"

At 2/11/2008 06:43:00 AM , Blogger Coral Lean said...

even in malaysia we feel the impact too... the scandal is new everyday & deliver freshly on the newspaper. this is another impact for our society after our ex health minister involved in scandal early this year. it left an impact in Chinese society everywhere in the world...esp on kids & teens, since many of their fave artistes were involved.

please pray that this would be over soon...

At 2/14/2008 11:06:00 PM , Blogger 虹圻 said...

This matter I unusual shocking. God wants me to pray for that some stars. I also pray the god to keep my heart because I do not dare to guarantee I never can tumble.

Daniel Chen

At 2/14/2008 11:08:00 PM , Blogger 虹圻 said...

This matter I unusual shocking. God wants me to pray for that some stars. I also pray the god to keep my heart because I do not dare to guarantee I never can tumble.


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