Wednesday, December 12, 2001
It happened during the Gulf War, and we've seen it in the war in Afghanistan. It's those amazing high-tech weapons that hit their target with pinpoint accuracy. There are, as they say, occasional "targeting errors," but, for the most part, those weapons go right to their intended target - weapons like Cruise missiles and what they call "smart bombs." I still remember a correspondent in Baghdad, during the Gulf War, who described this Tomahawk missile roaring in over the city, pause, and then turn left and then straight down into a military facility. Its tracking system apparently determined that it was slightly off course, corrected it, and went to the target. Amazing.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "Your Internal Guidance System".
The secret of hitting the target is, of course, an internal guidance system -- for a missile and for you and me. And the Bible clearly describes what that guidance system should be for those of us who belong to Jesus Christ.
One place it's described is in Proverbs 11, beginning in verse 3, our word for today from the Word of God. The Lord says, "The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity ... the righteousness of the blameless makes a straight way for them, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness."
So, your integrity is supposed to be the guidance system in you that always determines where you'll go and how you do things. When you make up your mind that you're always going to do what is honest, what is right, what has integrity, then you'll be making a "straight way" for yourself. In other words, you won't be one way one time and another way another time. You won't live by one set of principles with one group and another with another group. You'll always be the same in all your dealings, no matter where, no matter with whom, and no matter what it costs. You're always fair -- you always tell the truth -- you do what you said you'd do.
When integrity is your internal guidance system, you've actually pre-made a thousand decisions that will come up along the way. It simplifies decision-making, because doing what's right will usually rule out most of your others options. The motto of any person, any business, any ministry that's committed to integrity is - "Always take the high road." Paul actually modeled that for us in 2 Corinthians 8 when he was assigned to deliver a large offering to needy believers in Jerusalem. He said, "We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord, but also in the eyes of men." That's interesting, "Taking pains to do what is right" - that's the kind of integrity that God blesses mightily. Frankly, sometimes doing what's right is a pain - but it is so worth it.
So, as you're facing the choices ahead of you right now, remember that it is the "integrity of the upright" that "guides them" - that makes a "straight way for them." If you follow your culture, the way other people do things, or your emotions, you will go off course and miss where you're supposed to be. But the man or woman who makes integrity their deciding factor will always end up hitting the target.