1 Samuel 12:3–4: “’Here I am. Witness against me before the LORD and before His anointed: Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I received any bribe with which to blind my eyes? I will restore it to you.’ And they said, ‘You have not cheated us or oppressed us, nor have you taken anything from any man’s hand.’”

May 21st, 2023 by Pastor Ed in devotional

When Samuel said, “Witness against me,” he was asking for the people to testify if they had anything against him for something he had failed to perform or correct. He was asking them if he had ever broken any promise or failed to deal fairly with them in any matter. Wow. This is a challenge to any person in a position of leadership no matter what arena of life. Anyone can say they have integrity but it’s their actions that are the true indicators. Could we stand up before the people who know us best and say this?

Character and integrity were at issue here both publicly and privately. Everyone agreed Samuel was blameless. To Samuel that meant they did not seek a king because as a judge he had done something ethically wrong. Samuel understood a critical secret in life sometimes called “first-accountability to God.” If we see ourselves as working for God rather than men, we will seek to please God and the result will be that we will also deal with others truly and fairly.

Charles Reade, British novelist and dramatist, showed that he understood character and integrity when he said, “Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit, and you reap a character. Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.” It’s easier to build character and guard it than it is to rebuild it after it’s been lost. The beginning of character repair is facing our flaws, repenting, and dealing with them. Repentance is a good and needful thing in every believer’s walk. Struggling with a character issue? Go back to the sinful act and repent. God is gracious and forgiving when we come in brokenness and humility.

“LORD, cleanse us from our sins, and help us to get it right today.”