Integrity: The Guarantee for Success

By Stanley O. Williford
Director of Publications

The Bible records in both Daniel 5:12 and Daniel 6:3 that the Prophet Daniel had an “excellent spirit.”

 “What exactly was the excellent spirit that distinguished Daniel so greatly that King Nebuchadnezzar took note of him?” Apostle Frederick K.C. Price asks in his book, Integrity: The Guarantee for Success:

That spirit, of course, is defined in the book’s title. It was integrity.

“For Daniel, maintaining his relationship with God proved far more valuable than the cost of one night in the lions’ den,” Apostle Price writes. So Daniel was put in the lion’s den because he refused to stop worshiping his God, even though worshiping any God other than Darius was against Babylonian law.

“Integrity is the process of discerning right from wrong and then doing what you know to be right,” Apostle Price explains.  “Say you give the cashier at the supermarket $10 to pay for $8.50 worth of groceries, but the cashier hands you $11.50 in change.  It would be wrong to pocket the extra $10.  That is the truth. But it is your integrity that sees that you have been given too much change and compels you to hand it back.

“So you see, integrity guides you to know what the truth is by compelling you to want to act on what is right.  Without this quality, without this factor involved, you will go whichever way the wind is blowing, despite what you know to be true.”

Apostle Price cites a line in Proverbs 11:3 that Daniel would have been familiar with, which says: The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.

“What distinguishes someone as a person of integrity is that they routinely act on what they know to be right. I need to point this out because the truth is not always immediately apparent.”

“According to Webster’s Dictionary, integrity means ‘the quality or state of being of sound moral principle, uprightness, honesty and sincerity.’”

Most of what is quoted above is from Chapter One, and that one chapter offers the reader enough to chew on for a decade.

In Chapter Two, Apostle Price shares a threefold process involved in operating with integrity.

Step 1: Discerning what is right and what is wrong.

Step 2: Acting on what you have discerned, even at great cost.

Step 3: Saying openly that you are acting on your understanding of right and wrong. 

“In other words, make a public declaration of where you stand.  You do this so that there is no gray area, no ambiguity regarding your position.  I call this making a commitment. Integrity involves a willingness to make a commitment to what you believe.”

Apostle Price offers us an example in the account of the three Hebrew boys – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. The boys found themselves in a similar situation as Daniel when King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold before which all the people in Babylon were supposed to bow down.

Daniel 3:4 reads:

Then a herald cried aloud: “To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages,

that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up;

And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.” 

 “. . . the king’s idol stood in direct opposition to the commandment not to worship any other god but Jehovah . . . .” Apostle Price points out.

What were the Hebrew boys to do? They had to make their choices under the penalty of death. Would they bow down to the idol or risk being thrown into the fiery furnace if they did not?

All three boys chose the furnace.

Apostle Price continues: “Not everyone is going to agree or support your decision to do what you know is right. In fact, some will come against you because of it. But the person of integrity is not moved by the action of others.”

As the story goes, Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage and commanded that the boys be brought before him. But standing before the king did not intimidate them. They remained steadfast, telling the king that “. . .  we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

So these young men chose to defy the king. The prospect of death stared them in the face, but they were not intimidated.

  Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.  He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated.

And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meschach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

These men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.

And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O King.” 

“Look!” he answered,  “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

You may not have thought about it before, but these boys demonstrated integrity,” Apostle Price writes. “They discerned what was right, and they acted on it, even at great personal risk. . . . Because they were acting based on their conviction, they were not only delivered in such grand style, they were also promoted.” 

This is a deep and powerful book with lessons that every Christian should consider as guides for their lives.

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