By Tony Cooke
A group of friends went deer hunting and paired off in two’s for the day. That night one of the hunters returned alone, staggering under an eight-point buck. “Where’s Harry?” “Harry had a stroke of some kind. He’s a couple of miles back up the trail.” “You left Harry lying there, and carried the deer back?” “It was a tough call,” acknowledged the hunter, “but I figured no one is going to steal Harry.”
This hunter sold-out Harry, his friend, for a prize deer! While the story is meant to be humorous, it parallels something that’s not funny at all in real life. As Christians, we have a holy calling, and we can’t sell out our core values for things that seemingly promise instant gratification. We need to have strong core values—principles that please and honor God—and then carry out those values in our lives and ministries.
Walking in integrity means choosing principle above popularity, convictions above convenience, and ethics above expedience. Edward R Lyman said, "Principle - particularly moral principle - can never be a weathervane, spinning around this way and that with the shifting winds of expediency. Moral principle is a compass forever fixed and forever true."
Stephen Covey said, "You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage - pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically - to say 'no' to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger 'yes' burning inside. The enemy of the 'best' is often the 'good.'"
May you be blessed and strengthened as you serve the Lord with integrity and with