Living with Integrity

Someone sent me this little story one time. Check it out:


A city boy, Kenny, moved to the country and bought a donkey from an old farmer for $100. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day.

The next day the farmer drove up and said, ‘Sorry son, but I have some bad news. The donkey died.’

Kenny replied, ‘Well then, just give me my money back.’

The farmer said, ‘Can’t do that. I went and spent it already.’

Kenny said, ‘OK then, at least give me the donkey.’

The farmer asked, ‘What are you going to do with him?’

Kenny replied, ‘I’m going to raffle him off.’

The farmer exclaimed, ‘You can’t raffle off a dead donkey!’

Kenny replied, ‘Sure I can! Watch me. I just won’t tell anybody he is dead.’

A month later the farmer met up with Kenny and asked, ‘What happened with that dead donkey?’

Kenny said, ‘I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at $2 a piece and made a profit of $898.’

Farmer asked, ‘Didn’t anyone complain?’

Kenny replied, ‘Just the guy who won. So I gave him his money back.’

Little Kenny grew up and eventually became the chairman of Enron Corp.


Ouch! Sad, but true, integrity is a rare commodity in today’s business environment. Even the old stalwarts like Arthur Anderson are infected by the dishonesty disease. Nowadays, you are as likely to see a CEO in handcuffs as you are a common thug. What’s going on?

In plain English, we are reaping what we have sown. For the last three decades, the American motto has been, “Win at all costs!” Unwritten in that demand was the subtle suggestion, “…even if it means breaking a rule or two.”

That doesn’t work in the corporate world, and it especially doesn’t work in the Kingdom. When Jesus said, to “seek first the Kingdom and its righteousness,” he laid down the basic principle that we would be people of integrity.

Integrity simply means, “I am what I represent. I have integrated my life to fit my witness.”

One wise man said, “Integrity is who you are when nobody is looking.”

There’s a promise that goes along with integrity too:

A righteous man who walks in his integrity—How blessed are his sons after him. (Proverbs 20:7)

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