We're all shell shocked by the reality and depth of corruption in politics, in commerce, in media; and frankly many of us are disillusioned with government and leadership in just about every facet of life. Everywhere you look, deception and compromise are the order of the day to put an agenda in place. Trashed values and discredited people are just collateral damage. How do we maintain integrity in our dealings when the norm has become "win at all cost?"
Scripture speaks of "honor," and asks us to consider whose honor is the focus of our lives. Are we working for our own honor -- success -- achievements? In John Chapter 7 we find Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles. Public opinion about him is mixed but mostly positive. Some are whispering, "He is a good man." Others say, "He deceives people." All are scrutinizing his every move, a fact of life for every leader. The temptation is to react to public opinion. But Jesus does not focus his energy on public opinion; he is not concerned with his approval ratings. In fact, he often warns his disciples, "If you love me, the world will hate you..." How true. Jesus is the epitome of good, and our world does not appreciate the stark contrast between good and evil.
In the middle of this celebration, Jesus interrupts his teaching to address the murmuring crowd with a profound statement: "He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself. But he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him."
If your efforts at home, in the marketplace, in the church, in the arena of public discourse are focused on honoring God, you won't fall into the trap of compromise. The world is looking for a gifted leader to pull them out of this political and economic cesspool, but what we need more desperately is to restore the concept of honorable living in the hearts of men and women.