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A Reflection on Integrity

Good morning, church family. Today, we explore Acts 1:19, a verse that carries a heavy message about personal integrity and the consequences of betrayal. Let's reflect on the story of Judas Iscariot and how it serves as a powerful lesson for us.

### Acts 1:19 - A Reflection on Integrity

Acts 1:19 states, "And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem so that the field was called in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood."

This verse refers to the aftermath of Judas Iscariot's betrayal of Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. His actions led to tragic consequences, not only for himself but also for the community around him.

### The Weight of Betrayal

Judas's betrayal was a moment of weakness and a significant breach of trust. For thirty pieces of silver, he handed over Jesus, who only showed him love and leadership. Imagine the weight of such an act. This betrayal left a lasting mark on Jerusalem, symbolized by the Field of Blood as a grim reminder of the cost of broken trust.

### Personal Integrity in Our Lives

Let's bring this closer to home. How do we reflect on our integrity? Are we acting with honesty and loyalty in our daily lives? The story of Judas is an extreme example, but we all face choices that test our integrity.

#### Reflect on Our Motives

Think about the motives behind your actions. Do selfish desires drive them, or are they rooted in love and faithfulness? Judas acted out of greed, and it cost him dearly. We must examine our hearts and ensure our motives align with our faith.

#### Impact on Relationships

Our choices affect those around us, especially within our faith community. Trust is fragile. Just as Judas's betrayal impacted the disciples and followers of Jesus, our actions can either build up or break down our community. Consider the impact of your choices on your relationships.

### Living with Integrity

#### Transparency and Honesty

Commit to living a life of transparency and honesty in all your interactions. This means being truthful even when it's difficult and holding yourself accountable to the standards of your faith.

#### Seeking Reconciliation

We all falter at times, but the beauty of our faith is God's redemptive power. When we fail in our integrity, we must seek Reconciliation and restoration. Understand that God's forgiveness is always available, and His love is redemptive.

#### Encourage Accountability

Encourage Accountability within our community. Surround yourself with people who support and uplift you, hold you accountable to your values, and help you grow in faith. We are stronger together, and the support of our community bolsters our integrity.

### Application Points

1. **Reflect on Motives:**

Regularly assess the reasons behind your actions.

2. **Consider Impact:**

Think about how your decisions affect your relationships.

3. **Commit to Integrity:**

Live transparently and honestly every day.

4. **Seek Forgiveness:**

When you falter, seek God's forgiveness and strive for Reconciliation.

5. **Build Accountability:**

Foster a supportive community that encourages growth and Accountability.

### God's Redemptive Power

Remember, no failure is too great for God's redemption. Just as the field bought with Judas's betrayal money became a place of sorrow, our failures can be transformed by God's grace. His love and forgiveness are more significant than our worst mistakes.

### Personal Reflection

Let me share a bit of my journey. I've worn many hats, from a Military Security Specialist in the Air Force to a logger in Oregon, a trucker, and finally, a pastor. Each role tested my integrity in different ways. I've faced challenges like alcoholism, cancer, and PTSD. But through it all, I've learned that maintaining personal integrity is crucial.

I've also had the privilege of serving as a Police Chaplain and a Baseball Chaplain, where honesty and trust are paramount. In my 43 years of counseling, I've seen how integrity can build or break relationships.

### Closing Prayer

Let's pray together:

"Lord, help us to live with integrity. Search our hearts and align our motives with Your will. Help us see our choices' impact on those around us and seek Reconciliation when we fail. Surround us with a community that supports and holds us accountable. Thank You for Your redemptive love and forgiveness. Amen."

May we leave today with a renewed commitment to live with integrity, knowing that God's grace is always sufficient. Blessings to you all.

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