The Bible reminds us in Proverbs 28:6, “Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.” Integrity is not a silver bullet to wealth and riches. It is, however, better than growing the bottom line.
Mark Hurd was a rising star at HP, he was “the hard-charging chief of Hewlett-Packard—who through acquisitions, layoffs, and cost cutting raised the company’s fortunes.” He was named one of Fortune magazine’s 25 most powerful people in business. He met expectations on Wall Street 21 out of the 22 quarters and increased their profits for 22 quarters. A winner, right? Publicly for sure! Yet he was asked to resign from HP in 2010 because of character failure. His lack of integrity led to his downfall. HP’s General Counsel commented that Hurd’s actions “showed a profound lack of judgment.”
Finally, Hurd declared, “I realize there were instances in which I did not live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity that I have espoused at HP.”
On the flip side, there is a Biblical story that could have gone in the same direction, except the main character, King David, took a completely different approach. You can read the story in 2 Samuel 11 and 12. The essence of this story is that David was supposed to have gone to war with this troops, but stayed behind in Jerusalem. First mistake! Then he saw and wanted a beautiful woman. Second mistake! David has her husband killed. Third mistake. When he’s confronted about all of these things by Nathan, David humbled himself before the Lord, his lack of integrity was forgiven by God and David’s fellowship was restored, yet there were consequences that David faced: ((below insights from David Guzik, Enduring Word)
- I will raise up adversity against you from your own house (2 Samuel 12:11): God warned David that because he troubled another man’s house, God would allow trouble to come from within David’s house.
- I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor (2 Samuel 12:11): As David violated another man’s wife, so another will violate his wives.
- You did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel (2 Samuel 12:12): In these judgments, David will reap what he has sown – publicly
- The child who is born to you shall surely die (2 Samuel 12:14): There is a difference in judgment for sin and judgment by God forgave David’s sin, but He would not shield him from every consequence of the sin. David had to face the consequences of his sin, beginning with the death of the child born by Bathsheba.
God forgives and restores!
The LORD also has put away your sin: God’s forgiveness was immediate. God did not demand a time of probation. You shall not die meant that David would be spared the penalty for adultery commanded under the Law of Moses.
So she bore a son (Solomon)… the LORD loved him: Here is the great forgiveness and tenderness of God. He did not hold a grudge against David and Bathsheba. The days of blessing and fruitfulness were not over for David.
Questions to Ponder:
- Is integrity something I’ve been willing to compromise, based on circumstances or what I may possibly “miss out on or lose” if I don’t compromise just a little?
- Accountability – trusted relationships – are a great way to keep our personal integrity in check. Do I have trusted relationships that I’ve given permission to speak into my life?
The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him!