“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost
Many men are bereft of I.N.T.E.G.R.I.T.Y. They find it difficult to keep their words; they say one thing but mean another. The virtue of integrity, which is synonymous with credibility, has been scarce since the creation of man.
The dictionary defines credibility as the ability to inspire belief or trust. It is the quality of being generally accepted and trusted. It is rather unfortunate that this sterling quality is lacking in many men.
Can people vouch for your credibility? Can they express confidence in you? How many times haven’t you reneged on your promise? If indeed God is your Father and you have His DNA in you, then it is about time you became credible. Hear Him in Psalm 89 verse 4: “I will be true to my agreement; the things which have gone out of my lips will not be changed.” (BBE)
Credibility is so vital that without it, man loses his dignity. “One of the realities of life is that if you can’t trust a person at all points, you can’t truly trust him at any point.” -Cheryl Biehl. No worthwhile relationship can be enjoyed and sustained without credibility. In the pursuit of material wealth, so many men have lost this fundamental quality. If a man loses his credibility, he loses his name, and ultimately, his identity.
The book of Job renders the account of a man who lived in the same world we live in today, mixed with the kind of devious people we have around us today, and yet kept his credibility. Hear what the Bible says about him in Job Chapter 1 verse 1:
“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God, and turned away from evil.” (RSV)
The Bible tells us about this man’s right standing with God and his sincerity with men. He was also a very wealthy man. One day, the devil was present where God’s sons were. God decided to give a public commendation of Job. When the devil heard that, he accused Job. The devil told God that the reason why Job served God faithfully was because everything was rosy for him. He asked God for permission to vex him and let God see whether Job would not lose his credibility. Of course God allowed him.
Guess what! The devil brought upon Job, much catastrophes. All his ten children died mysteriously in a day. He also lost all his substances and virtually all his servants that same day. In spite of this, he did not lose his credibility. His integrity was unshaken. Little wonder the next time the devil went to God, God was so excited about Job that He said to the devil: “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you moved me against him, to destroy him without cause.” Job 2:3 (RSV) At that point, God scored a point against the devil. Beloved, you team up with the devil to hurt God every time you stoop to sinning .
Still on Job, the devil never gave up. He told God that if He would allow him touch Job’s health, that he would give up his credibility. God allowed the devil to go ahead with his evil plan. The devil afflicted Job with sore boils from head- to-toe. Oh my! That was one hell of a period for Job. His wife, who was supposed to be more supportive at that period, even chided him and offered foolish advice. She told him to “curse God, and die.” I guess she even deserted him at a stage because the Bible never said anything about her after that incident. “In all this, Job did not sin with his lips.” Job 2:10 (NKJV)
Even his three friends, who were supposed to empathize with him, accused him of wrongdoings. Eventually, Job was vindicated. His credibility paved the way for his victory.
Friend, the world is in dire need of credible men; men whose walk and talk agree. The one and only way that you can be trusted and thereby gain the respect and confidence of many, is by being credible. And as Mark Twain, US writer and humorist, said of Theodore Roosevelt, the twenty-sixth President of the US, in his autobiography, “I always enjoy his society. He is so hearty, so straightforward, outspoken and, for the moment, so absolutely sincere.” What would people say about you when you are long gone?
If you’ve been crooked all these while and you think that people still respect you, do remember that it is only for a while for when you least expect, your sin (of crookedness, which is the lack of credibility) will find you out. Hear the words of the late John Selden, English historian, jurist and politician, “Preachers say, ‘Do as I say, not as I do.’ But if the physician had the same disease upon him that I have, and he should bid me do one thing, and himself do quite another, could I believe him?”
Be credible. Be the man God wants you to be.