by Rick Warren — April 28, 2020
“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”
Proverbs 10:9 (NIV)
When you’re making a decision, ask yourself, “Would I want everyone to know about this decision?”
If the thought of other people finding out about your decision worries you, then you’re probably making the wrong decision. Bad decisions lead to secrecy, and that kind of secret always leads to pain in your life.
The Bible says: “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out” (Proverbs 10:9 NIV).
Notice it doesn’t say “might be found out” or even “probably will be found out.” You will be found out!
You’ve seen how this happens. You’re about to make a bad choice. You know it’s wrong, but you think, “I’ll go ahead and do it because no one will ever know.”
Then, as soon as the decision is made, you think, “Somebody’s going to find out!” And you feel the fear that comes from that. That’s when you’ve violated the Integrity Test.
When you have integrity, your public life and your private life match. What’s in your heart is the same as what other people see on the outside. What you say and what you do are in harmony.
The truth is, when it comes to integrity, you may fool everyone else, but you can’t fool yourself. And if you violate your own conscience, you have to pay for that.
James 4:17 says, “Knowing what is right to do and then not doing it is sin” (TLB).
When making a decision, ask yourself: Can I do this with a clear conscience?
Violating your conscience is a big mistake. God will forgive you for the wrong you do. But forgiveness doesn’t free you from the consequences of bad decisions.
You can be forgiven and still have regrets. You can be forgiven and still face pain. You can be forgiven and still have broken relationships.
Many decisions you make are clear-cut. But what about those where it’s harder to know right from wrong? The Bible speaks to that, too: “If someone believes it is wrong, then he shouldn’t do it because for him it is wrong” (Romans 14:14 TLB).
It’s simple: When in doubt, don’t. Whatever is not from faith in your life is sin.
The next time you’re faced with a decision, follow the Integrity Test. Ask: Am I okay with other people finding out about this decision? Can I make this choice with a clear conscience? Do I believe this is wrong?
God’s given you the wisdom of the Bible and of your conscience because he loves you. The Integrity Test will help keep you on the path that God knows is for your good.