...the churches of Christ salute you! Rom 16:16

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There is a disease that stalks the human family that is so very destruc­tive. It has been leaving behind a path of pain, sorrow and ill-feelings since the beginning of time. This sickness that impairs the functioning of both the young and old may be referred to as IDS or Integrity Deficiency Syndrome. It should be avoided! Not only does it affect men physically, it is soul-destroy­ing!
If one has IDS they have a deficiency in uprightness; a lack of innocence before GOD. If we are lacking in in­tegrity we have a shortage of those attributes that characterize us as chil­dren of God. Solomon urged men to avoid this disease in Prov. 10:9, "He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known." Solomon's father, David, (a man who knew what it was to suffer from this disease) asked a question in Ps. 24: 3. "Who shall ascend into the hills of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?" He answered his ques­tion in verse 4 and 5: "He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteous­ness from the God of his salvation." He that hath "clean hands and a pure heart"—that man has integrity. Biblically speaking he gives rigid adherence to God's code—he bows submissive to God's standard of values. Integrity involves doing what you said you would do, when you said you would do it, and how you said you would do it!
My children need to know they are growing up in a world where IDS has reached epidemic levels. The present culture finds it easy all too often to default on commitments. It has be­come almost fashionable to somehow rationalize not paying debts and keeping ones word. Every year in America over one half million people choose bank­ruptcy as a way to avoid repayment of debt. Thousands more choose divorce or separation as a way to default on their marriage vows.
Christians understand that obedi­ence to the law of God involves build­ing trust. Trust should be a constant in our life. We build trust by being hon­est. "Provide things honest in the sight of all men" (Rom. 12:17). If we fail to build trust before God and before our fellows, we lower our resistance to the devil and his devices. Therefore, we should make keeping our word and fulfilling our vows a daily habit of our life.
Integrity Deficiency Syndrome provides a blessing to no one. The real blessing lies in the paths which inspira­tion encourages all men to follow... "The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him: (Prov. 20:7).


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