What is it you have that no one can ever take away from you?
Is it a piece of property? No.
Is it your health? No.
Keep thinking. It is something of great value, something so important that if you lose it, you would suffer greatly.
It is something that no one can take away from you, but you can lose. And when/if you do, it will be a day of great sadness.
The answer I am searching for is — your integrity. This is the honesty and truthfulness you exhibit to the world around you. It is at the very core of who you are. Your integrity is something that you need to protect with great caution and care. If you lose your integrity, there is not much left. Your honor will vanish like a mist.
If you tell lies or "stretch the truth," who will believe you when you tell the truth?
If you do not act honorably, who will trust your sincerity when you do something honorable?
If you belittle someone, others will think you do the same about them.
If people know you cheat on little things, they will wonder what you do about big things.
If you get rich by doing crooked deals, they will not trust you to do what is right.
Jesus said, "What profit is there if you gain the whole world, but lose your soul?" Some will say they don't care as long as they are happy.
Eventually the loneliness of being ostracized for improper behavior takes its toll. People fall away, not wanting to be associated with such a person.
It is "better to be poor and walk in integrity than to be crooked in one's ways even though rich," Proverbs 28:5-6 states.
Be a person of integrity. Hold your head up high knowing you do what is right and good and proper, even if others around you might not.
When you know you do the right things in the eyes of God, you will hear God say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.