Two weeks ago, we started a mini-series on integrity. The motivation behind pushing for education on integrity came after I was invited to facilitate an integrity workshop at UB.
That went so well that I realized how huge a need it is for us to put resources, time and energy into really teaching principles of integrity in our workplaces and in our government programs. It sure would be cheaper investing into teaching why we should operate with integrity than to keep losing a hundred times that amount out the back door when people act without integrity participating in corruption.
Today I want to focus on something I have never heard taught so I am praying God gives me wisdom and insight to teach it. I can’t speak for you, but when I hear of corruption, I always hear of the devastating effects it has on a country’s economy. But, when I speak to people participating in corrupt practices they usually honestly don’t care about the effect their greed has on others as long as it lines their pocket. They generally ignore the blatant facts and statistics of the horrific effects of corruption and simply say “who does it hurt if I get a little more money? People are just jealous!”
So instead of quoting facts you can quickly google, let’s discuss the effects corruption has on the person participating.
Have you ever done an honest hard day’s work? Laying your head on the pillow, you are tired but content with a feeling of satisfaction. Feeling productive and proud of yourself, you think “I did well today!” With your mind at ease, sleep comes fast and easily. On the contrary, have you ever cheated, stolen or lied? Your mind is racing with fear that someone might find out. Stolen goods can’t even be properly enjoyed for fear someone might realize you can’t afford that or ask where you got that. More lies have to be made up to cover up how you acquired that.
Your mind is never at ease making you forever tired. Sleep is restless as you wonder if tomorrow is the day when people you care about will find out who you really are and what you have actually done. In quiet moments, your mind races to create cover stories to hide the deeds you do that you know are wrong and could get you in trouble. Headaches and illnesses are common because your mind is constantly in a stressful mode producing chemical toxins which literally cause you to be physically ill.
When you live a life that leaves you ashamed of your choices, it forces you to deceive others. Your internal sense of well-being is placed in turmoil as you have to portray an image to make others believe something about you that you don’t even believe about yourself. The Bible says multiple times that out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. It is just a matter of time before your tongue slips and your cover is blown. But, instead of admitting your faults and confessing your sin, you get angry that anyone would dare come close to exposing you.
So you create boundaries. You keep a tight guard and perfect the art of surfacy conversation that never gives people a glimpse into the window of your soul. You don’t trust anyone to really know you because you fear their disappointment and disapproval should they find out, or worse you don’t trust they won’t report you to authorities. After a while of creating facades, you don’t even know who you are and who you are becoming.
Those who do know what you are doing are participating with you living the same life of deception. You don’t respect them. They don’t respect you so it doesn’t breed deep fulfilling edifying friendships. In fact, should you want to break free and come into the light so that you can free yourself from the heavy burden you carry, they might even blackmail you and threaten you. The fear of the consequences forces you deeper into the sin that has entangled you. You feel stuck and you feel trapped! You don’t see any way out. Money may be in your pockets. Power may be associated with your name, but peace and true love evades your life. Yearning for the simple life, you even become jealous of the person who is poorer but content with a happy spouse and children that adore and respect them. You realize that the wealth you have accumulated has come at the cost of your health, the happiness of your family, your soul and your internal peace. You wish you could start over and be content with what you had and put your energy into friendships with people who want to walk with you and encourage you to become a better person, people who fully trust you, respect you and love you.
Let me tell you a secret. You CAN start over. It won’t be easy. There may be consequences for the sins you have committed, but you have a choice. Go deeper and deeper into the darkness that is killing you and ruining our economy or break free. John 3:17-21, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
I am out of space. Next week we will discuss how Jesus does not condemn you and is faithful to forgive you no matter what you have done. The Truth can set you free!
Ashley Thaba is a popular author, life coach, and motivational speaker. She also facilitates corporate team building and wellness activities. You can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: