When I was growing up, my dad would take me places where he was called upon to fix a sink, or tile a wall, or place formica on a counter top. There was almost nothing that my father couldn’t do. He didn’t fix his own cars, but other than that he worked on almost everything that needed fixing or was broken and needed repair. Small appliances. Washers. Dryers. Leaky toilets. Light switches. Re-wiring circuits. You name it, he fixed it.
Not once in all the time that I went with him did one of his clients ask for a contract for the job he was about to do for them. My dad was a man of his word. If he said that he would do a job, you could take it to the bank. He was honest as the day is long and had a reputation of being a man of integrity.
I write about this concept of integrity because I came across a passage in the bible that caused me to ponder. The story was found in the book of Kings and described one of the kings named Joash. He was the king of Judah and was called upon to bring the nation of Judah back to the lord. He was also called upon to rebuild the temple that had been damaged. He had a plan of how the temple was to be rebuilt and we take up the story from there.
“Then Joash said to the priests, “All the dedicated silver brought to the Lord’s temple, census silver, silver from vows, and all silver voluntarily given for the Lord’s temple — each priest is to take it from his assessor and repair whatever damage is found in the temple.” But by the twenty-third year of the reign of King Joash, the priests had not repaired the damage to the temple. II Kings 12:4-6 Silver that had been collected by Jewish men and women coming to the temple was being given to the priests who were supposed to give it to the workers to repair the temple. Unfortunately, 23 years passed by and nothing had been repaired. Where did all the silver go to? What was it spent on? What did the priests do with the silver and donations? What happened with their integrity? Their honesty? Their responsibility to fix the temple? Evidently, they had none, although they were the religious leaders of their day. They gave King Joash their word to deliver the silver to the workers of the temple, but their actions didn’t follow their word.
An entirely different experience happened with another group of individuals that were part of the rebuilding process. It says, “No accounting was required from the men who received the silver to pay those doing the work, since they worked with integrity.”
2 Kings 12:15 The priests were told by Joash to give the silver to these men who were to give the money to the workers. No accounting was required. They worked with integrity. This group of individuals were honest people and took what silver they had and gave it to those who were doing the work. Their reputation was impeccable. Their word was their bond. They did what they said they would do.
On this journey, our reputation is so important. Being people of our word to people we come in contact with can cause people to trust what we say because our word is consistent with what we do. We have a choice to be like the priests or the men who required no accounting. Everyday our word can be our bond.