Kanye West was performing last night in Queens when an assistant pulled him aside. He then bolted from the stage, citing a "family emergency." Some disappointed fans were suspicious that the drama was a publicity stunt.
Now we know what the "family emergency" was: five gunmen tied up his wife, Kim Kardashian, in her Paris hotel room. They locked her in the bathroom, then stole a jewelry box containing valuables worth about $6.7 million and a ring worth about $4.4 million. Their crime is dominating headlines this morning.
Family emergencies seldom stay in the family. What happens in private usually becomes public.
Donald Trump's personal tax returns are now part of the presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton has apologized repeatedly for her handling of private email.
David Petraeus spoke last Friday at the World Affairs Council of Dallas. A four-star general, he earned a Ph.D. from Princeton and eventually became director of the CIA, but resigned because of an extramarital affair that involved private mishandling of classified documents.
Gary Hart was a US Senator and frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 before an extramarital affair derailed his campaign. It was the same story for John Edwards in 2008. We're all familiar with Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Tragically, Christian ministers are not exempt, as Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, and Ted Haggard demonstrated. One of the reasons Billy Graham has been so popular for so long is that his personal character matches his public reputation.
Scripture consistently calls us to choose integrity:
• "Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out" (Proverbs 10:9).
• "Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways" (Proverbs 28:6).
• "The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him!" (Proverbs 20:7).
Warren Buffett advised, "In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you." Conversely, choosing integrity reinforces integrity. Rick Warren: "Integrity is built by defeating the temptation to be dishonest; humility grows when we refuse to be prideful; and endurance develops every time you reject the temptation to give up."
Dwight Moody claimed that "character is what you are in the dark." Is there an area of your life where the dark isn't aligned with the light?
We build integrity by staying close to our Lord. The Holy Spirit wants to make us like Jesus (Romans 8:29). He will mold us into people he can use and bless. But we must ask him to do so.
Begin today by submitting your day to the Spirit. Ask him to control your mind and life. Then stay close to him all through the day. When you face temptations, ask for his strength. If you fail, ask for his forgiveness and cleansing grace. Ask the Lord to give you the character of Christ, and he will.
It is estimated that $70 million in counterfeit money is in circulation today. How do bank tellers tell the difference? Banks give them so much time with the real thing that they can spot a fake the moment they see or touch it.
How much time will you spend with the real Lord today?
Note: I invite you to read my article on Shimon Peres and Israel, published in The Blaze.
Publication date: October 3, 2016
Do you want to live a life in whole-hearted pursuit of loving God and others?
Read today's First15 at www.first15.org.