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Just to Get Ahead

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

by Dr. Paul Chappell

“Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.”

Daniel 6:5,10

Success is not worth sacrificing your integrity.

A number of years ago the Douglas Aircraft company was competing with Boeing to sell Eastern Airlines its first big jets. War hero Eddie Rickenbacker, the head of Eastern Airlines, reportedly told Donald Douglas that the specifications and claims made by Douglas's company for the DC-8 were close to Boeing's on everything except noise suppression. Rickenbacker then gave Douglas one last chance to out-promise Boeing on this feature. After consulting with his engineers, Douglas reported that he did not feel he could make that promise. Rickenbacker replied, "I know you can't, I just wanted to see if you were still honest."

Imagine Donald Douglas’ thoughts at this point. He had a chance to solidify his reputation as a solid aircraft company and become one of the first to sell a large jet to Eastern Airlines. He could either make or break his career and the future of the company with this answer. With all that pressure on him, how was he able to make the right decision and answer honestly? He possessed character.

Someone defined character as: “Doing the right thing even when no one’s around.” It means having the strength to say no even to the devil’s most subtle temptations. So many people in our society will do anything to get ahead. Have you ever heard the phrase, “He’d sell his own grandmother to make a buck”? Sadly, this is how some people view life in general.

But as Christians, God wants us to place a higher priority on integrity. Look at Daniel’s example. Even though he was a high-ranking prince in Darius’ court, openly disobeying a law could cost him everything—even his life! But in the face of certain punishment, he obeyed God. Daniel didn’t think twice about his decision. He knew he had to obey God before he gave in to man’s commands.

Gaining success at the expense of integrity is never God’s plan. Do not believe that lying is the only way to get ahead in life. God still honors and blesses those who trust and obey Him!

How much do you value integrity in your life? What would it take to get you to fudge the truth? Do not allow the pursuit of success or possessions to crowd out God’s will for your life. As seen in His Word, His will is that you live honestly and honor Him in everything you do.

Commit to being honest in all your personal or business affairs this year. Claim Acts 5:29 and remember that no matter what, success is not worth sacrificing your integrity. “…We ought to obey God rather than men.”

To learn more about Pastor Paul Chappell and his ministry, please visit

Daily Bible Reading
Genesis 18-19 • Matthew 6:1-18