E-votional - Integrity
February 19, 2003


So I said to them, ‘Whoever has gold, take it off’; so they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”

Exodus 32:24 (NRSV)


Clues as to who you are and what you really are about. It is who you are when no one is looking, when it doesn't matter and when you have everything to loose. What so we do when no one knows who you are? Who are you when things really get hot and you face uncertainty? Recently, integrity and character have been an issue with the future of our country as it addresses Iraq. It has come into play with our relationships with countries who oppose the governments position on Iraq and how they relate those who might support our government. (Chirac, EU) But what about our faith and the life we live daily, outside of major conflict or serious issues?

Hear the Good News, God gives us a Spirit of Hope and Strength, promising to keep us in His Care all of our days. And though we may not always see His presence, he is there. Aaron, faced with a possible powder keg of trouble offers a quick and easy fix for those who were breathing down his neck, demanding service. Moses, up on Sinai, receiving instruction from God, left the people in Aaron's care. Regardless of the fear and doubt possessed by the Israelite, whom I might add were led by God, one miracle at a time, still could not conceive the notion God was caring for them. Fear and doubt crept in, and it would seem they lost their senses. "Create for us hope." And Aaron, instead of sharing with them the Hope present, created not hope, but fabricated a lie. How often do we search for hope only to grab the easiest and most convenient idol we can?  To make matters worse, Aaron offers up the mother of all lies.  "It just kinda happened!" (Read Exodus passage in the link above)  A friend of the family was told, as a child, not to shave her legs. When her mother found smoothly shaved legs on the elementary student, she questioned her daughter. "I was playing at school, and I fell down. When I fell down it all fell off." Friends, doubt and a need for hope is part of the human condition. As we grow in our faith, face the struggles of life and keep our focus on God, we can defeat the doubt in the world and become the person God has called us to be, following His calling on our life.


   Gracious Father, sometimes it is harder to face life as it slaps me in the face. Met by struggles and conflict, I am so tempted to travel along the easy path, without regard to the consequences. Please, I pray, keep my focus on you and stir within my heart integrity that is of You, and not something else. Direct me in all of my dealings, allowing me to respond to the world and those around me with compassion, yet remaining consistent with Your Good News. Thank You for all You have done and all You will continue to do, for I ask this through Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.