Integrity vs. Popularity
By Rick Warren
“Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:26 (NIV)
One day you’ll give an account of your life before God. This fact is the best antidote to people-pleasing that I know.
When you have that kind of long-term thinking—when you keep in mind that you’ll one day stand before God—it changes you. It changes what you say, what you do, and who you try to impress. It’s the people-pleaser antidote.
When you take that long look, and realize you’re going to give an account for every word and action from each day, you’ll ask yourself, “Which is more important—God’s approval or the approval of people around me?”
I’ve found myself having to ask that question many times. During TV broadcasts, interviewers ask me tough questions. They try to put me on the spot, sometimes hoping to make me look like a bigot or fool. They try to get me to distance myself from what the Bible says.
When I’m in those interviews, my human nature wants to be liked, just like yours does. My human nature wants to compromise, divert, punt, and leave out the truth. It’s tempting to say things like, “I just leave that up to God” or “Everybody has to make up their own mind.” But those are people-pleasing cop-outs.
In those moments—when you could say something that wouldn’t offend but would be a lie—there are three things you can do.
First, remember what Jesus Christ did for you on the cross. He didn’t deny you. He didn’t back away from you. He died for your sins. Your life belongs to him. He created you. He saved you. He forgave you. He’s taking you to heaven. Why would you deny him?
Second, remember that one day you’re going to give an account to God. God will ask you, “What did you say in that conversation at work? What did you say to your friend at school? What did you say during a family dinner?” Integrity is more important than popularity. And you don’t want to give up your integrity.
Finally, tell the truth, no matter the consequences.
As you walk in faith with Jesus, practice doing these three things. They’re the guides you need to live with integrity—not for popularity.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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