The story of Ananias and Sapphira is a great reminder of how we, as Christians, must value integrity. This is a good and extreme example of the possible consequences when integrity is pushed aside for selfish gain.
Unfortunately, integrity does not seem to be in the forefront of the Christian church or other Christian organizations. Too often there are stories of fallen pastors or Christian leaders who have been caught in extramarital affairs, pornography addiction, money laundering, all types of abuse, and other legal issues. It is a sad realization when these are the men and women who should be displaying Christ to the world yet have failed miserably.
That being said, there are those who highly value integrity in the Christian arena. The late Reverend Billy Graham brought integrity into many conversations and was one of the pioneers in the integrity movement within Christian ministries. He refused to meet alone with another woman other than his wife. In an effort to make certain that money received by his ministry was handled properly, Reverend Graham's salary was determined before offerings were collected at his tent revivals. He understood that as a representative of the Gospel of Christ, integrity had to be practiced in his daily life. It is one of the many reasons he is remembered with such high regard. His ministry, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, continues to spread Christ's love to the masses. Yes, Billy Graham valued integrity. Even more, the word of God has something to say about it as well. Here are some examples from the Bible (paraphrased):
Don’t steal, deal falsely, or lie to one another (Leviticus 19:11)
Integrity guides and crookedness destroys (Proverbs 11:3)
‘Yes’ or ‘No’ - your word should be your word (Matthew 5:37)
Faithful in little = Faithful in much; Dishonest in little = Dishonest in much (Luke 16:10)
Be honorable in the sight of God & men (2 Corinthians 8:21)
Work for the Lord in all things (Colossians 3:23)
Integrity is something that must be held in high regard in the Christian world. As followers of Christ, integrity is a quality we should strive to practice daily. It is something we desperately need to value and encourage in our Christian leaders. If we are to be Christ to this lost and broken world, we must embrace integrity and flee from a life of hypocrisy!
A "We are called to obey Christ. He is the Master of our lives and has washed us in His blood, which cleanses our souls, our minds and our mouths. The world is watching. What do they see and hear?"
- Billy Graham