“Are You Integrated?”

Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 4:59 pm

by David Sowers, interim preaching minister for Cornerstone Christian Church

 

Breaking the sound barrier is an important chapter  in  the history  of the development of aircraft.  Years ago while poring through a book on aviation, I came across a photograph of a plane which had just attempted to break the elusive sound barrier.  The plane was still in the air; however it was no longer integrated.  What had formerly been a recognizable aircraft was now a blurred mass of thousands of pieces.  The plane, because it was  poorly designed for flight faster than the speed of sound, had literally disintegrated in mid-air.

Experts on the history of that period in aviation point out that it was in the transition from subsonic to supersonic  flight that the worst vibration would occur.  Planes attempting to break the sound barrier would violently shake, sometimes  with  disastrous  results.  However, once that transition stage was passed, the early pioneers in supersonic flight found that flight  became smooth again.

A  parallel  exists between the transition  stage  of  early aircraft  from subsonic to supersonic flight and  temptations  to compromise  our  integrity.  Integrity has been defined  as  “the quality  or state of being complete; unbroken  condition;  wholeness;  entirety”  and from a moral perspective  “the  quality  or state  of being of sound moral principle;  uprightness,  honesty, and  sincerity  (Webster’s New World Dictionary of  the  American Language, 2nd College Ed.).  Just as the transitional stage  from subsonic  to supersonic flight severely tested the airframes  and wings,  so  temptations to take the easy or  convenient  or  less expensive  road  severely test our resolve to remain  persons  of integrity.

If  the  process  of the rapid disintegration  of  an  early aircraft  attempting  supersonic  flight  were drastically slowed,  one would likely see a rivet or a weld  give  way  in one place which in  turn  would place  unbearable stress  on  the other welds and rivets which ultimately  would lead  to  the aircraft coming apart.  The process is similar in a Christian who gives up his or her integrity.  Small, seemingly  insignificant compromises  are made at first, which, in turn, lead  to  further compromises until the person, at last, falls into serious sin.

Our  Lord  said on one occasion with  reference  to  worldly possessions, “whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also  be dishonest with much” (Luke 16:10).  A person who thinks that the little things do not matter is in a position similar  to an aircraft as its airframe begins to weaken and give way.

On the other hand, the Christian person of integrity  will stand  his ground even when tempted to compromise on  the  little things.   And certainly, if he stands firm on the little things, he will stand firm on the big things.  The Christian who successfully  weathers the temptation, will come out  still  integrated, still whole, and be stronger for it (James 1:2-4, 12).

What about  you?   What about me?  Are we striving  to  be people of integrity as our Lord was?  Are we resisting the temptation to “fudge a little here, and fudge a little  there?”   If so, then  our Lord will entrust us with  greater  responsibility and, in the end, we will receive “the crown of life that God  has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).

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