Proverbs 22:1 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
Our credibility will become real to ourselves when we stop borrowing the credibility of others or using high-end stuff, such as (cars, portfolios, and properties) to define who we are. Take away the possessions of a person and what remains is the real person. We do not have to borrow or steal the status of others to be affirmed in this life when we have the Lord’s assurance of His love abiding within us. Our standing in the Lord is based on what God says is true and what righteousness is in Christ, and not what we mistakenly think it might be. Righteousness, integrity, and credibility in Christ are what God proclaims these virtues to be.
At times, some Christians presume to have spiritual credibility by trying to make God say something He did not say or even meant to be implied. They sometimes mix their faith and the spurious correlations of their syncretistic beliefs into a form of personal dogma, creating an illusion of credibility. These polymorphic views are manifesting in church circles because of undisciplined lifestyles, uncontrolled emotions, and their adopted soulism that leads them into carnal choices rather than being changed from glory to glory by the conviction of God’s word that leads believers into righteous living.
The upshot with this loose method of belief is that any hair-raising or goosebump sensation these people experience will become their divine guidance system to their high-minded spirituality, when in fact, their soul is now in a position to be self-deceived by any bump in the night noise. The credibility they thought they borrowed from God’s word to falsify their personal value and fabricated doctrine, ends up judging their immature faith. By claiming to be more open to the ways of God, they end up closed to the Lord’s conviction of true righteousness that validates our eternal lives in Christ. 1Tim. 6:20 Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge.
We see what happens when credibility and integrity are borrowed rather than lived and grown into. Samuel’s two sons had corrupted the priesthood that came to them through nepotism. Samuel was a man of God who lived by faith, and all of Samuel’s prophecies came true. 1Sam. 3:19 So Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. Samuel was a loved Judge of Israel. His sons took over the responsibility for the nation’s spiritual well-being. The problem was that Samuel’s sons Joel and Abiah were corrupt, and the only reason they were in control of judging Israel and the priesthood was that they got the job by default. The little credibility these young men had, was the credibility and integrity that Samual had walked in his whole life.
Joel and Abiah had no integral heart for God to minister the way God wanted the priesthood to work. Pretending to have a form of Godliness because of the priestly office they held, and the garments they wore, did not hide the reality that they only wanted the money and power that came with the position. 1Sam. 8:3 But they were not like their father, for they were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and perverted justice. The sad thing is that these (I’ll do religion my way) sons had corrupted the priesthood to the point that the people of Israel felt better off with a worldly governmental system rather than what God had set up for them to remain free people. 1Sam 8:5 They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”
Without the Lord’s righteousness at work within our souls, our credibility and integrity are only as strong as we are in the flesh. Whereas, when we are walking in the Lord’s salvation we have the leading of the Holy Spirit to strengthen our resolve to choose God’s righteousness rather than our own. By faith, we have the strength to make the harder choices that have to be made because the integrity of God is at work within us to help us make the hard decisions our flesh does not want to make. To stop our credibility from waning, we will have to keep choosing Christ’s righteousness and not our version of it. Prov. 22:1a A good name is more desirable than great riches. We will have to depend on more than our good name to be in right standing with our Heavenly Father. We will have to be saved in the name that is above every name Jesus our Lord. Blessings and peace be on us all.