This writing is in memory and honor of the lives lost due to the recent earthquake in Japan.
With the massive earthquake striking Japan followed by the devastating tsunami and the compromised integrity of the nuclear power plants there, we are once again made aware of the ultimate power of nature. The reports of vast loss are many while heart-warming stories of miracles and protection are yet to be heard. To cover disasters like these, it takes extreme care on the part of news reporters, national leaders and those in authority as they provide pertinent information for positive recovery with ULTIMATE INTEGRITY to the Japanese nation and to the world.
ULTIMATE INTEGRITY requires truthfully saying what needs to be said rather than what we would like to say. It also carries with it the responsibility to do what we need to do instead of what we may want to do. These inward struggles can cause great conflict especially in a crisis. Integrity is the part of our character that pushes us toward the "need" side causing us to speak truth in the face of danger.
The Bible offers a look at ULTIMATE INTEGRITY telling about evangelists Paul and Silas being in prison when a devastating earthquake hit their region! Here is the account:
Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn't believe their ears. Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose. Startled from sleep, the jailer saw all the doors swinging loose on their hinges. Assuming that all the prisoners had escaped, he pulled out his sword and was about to do himself in, figuring he was as good as dead anyway, when Paul stopped him: "Don't do that! We're all still here! Nobody has run away!"
The jailer got a torch and ran inside. Badly shaken, he collapsed in front of Paul and Silas. He led them out of the jail and asked, "Sirs, what do I have to do to be saved, to really live?" They said, "Put your entire trust in the Master Jesus. Then you'll live as you were meant to live—and everyone in your house included!" Acts 16:25-31 The Message
This earthquake - strong enough to actually knock the chains off of all the prisoners - provided a way of escape. But due to Paul's ULTIMATE INTEGRITY he saw to it that all those who were imprisoned with him remained in the prison where they had been cruelly placed. Was it for the sake of the prison guard who would have faced a death sentence from his country had they escaped or who may have put himself to death over it? Perhaps, but certainly it was for the sake of the Gospel of Christ. They chose to do what was right over that which was expedient which left the guard in awe and wonder. The earthquake not only opened the prisoner's chains but it also opened the guard's heart.
Will ULTIMATE INTEGRITY win out in your life today? I pray that it will in both yours and mine.
Blessings . . . as we become the hands and feet of Christ to a world lost in the earthquakes of life.
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