Proverbs 10:9 The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.
Robert Allen Stanford and Bernard Madoff are names that had little or no meaning for me, not until late 2008 and early 2009. Suddenly, the financial world had been brought on its knees and these two men stood out among the crowd. In a matter of months, their reputation as financiers were tarnished for life.
But wait a minute. What does these have to do with me? you ask. And I answer. YOUR LIFE. You see, before the world’s financial institutions collapsed, Allen Stanford and Bernard Madoff were well-known personalities with a SOLID, or so it seemed REPUTATION of having sound and profit making banking businesses. For years, they had managed to run their businesses without raising the slightest suspicion from the government, their shareholders and clients. In fact, even some of the employees thought that their companies were SECURE and could remain in business for decades to come.
Then the unimaginable happened. They got FOUND OUT. Their business empires were built on a lie. Before long, businesses which had dealing with them suddenly went bankrupt, individuals who had put all of their life savings on a retirement scheme found themselves coinless, jobs were lost, homes put up for sale and lives and relationships ruined. Yes, two individuals with a well-known reputation had the capacity to overturn millions of individual lives.
You see, reputation is the most important asset in a business. Yet it has the same capacity to create the greatest harm not only to the individual or business but to those in association with it. And while it is important to have a good reputation…or in business, A BRAND NAME, God is looking for men of integrity.
A man of integrity walks SECURELY. His footprints are steady even in darkness. He doesn’t need to look back to retrace his steps. He sleeps without the fear of tomorrow. HE HAS NOTHING TO HIDE.
A man of crooked ways walks INSECURELY. His footprints are uneven even in daylight. He looks back each time to double check and cover up for his lies. He sleeps with the fear that tomorrow might be his last. HE HAS EVERYTHING TO LOOSE, and even hides from his true self.
This is true of both…INTEGRITY gives you rest and peace. REPUTATION gives you a following which you must work hard to keep.