Story of the Day for Wednesday June 22, 2011
Trustworthy in Big and Trivial Matters
Whoever can be trusted in little things can also be trusted with much, and whoever is untrustworthy in little things cannot be trusted with much.
We tend to think of integrity as simply being honest. Integrity, however, goes far deeper than that. No one can deny your honesty if you tell them you think their clothes are ugly, or that you think people from other races are inferior, or you hope somebody dies. But honesty alone does not make you a person of integrity.
Integrity begins with the discernment of what is right and what is wrong. Adolf Hitler may have been honest in thinking he was a member of the superior race. But he was wrong.
Integrity also involves the willingness to do what we believe is right – even at great personal cost. Philip Delesalle was the greatest gymnast Canada has ever known. The gymnastics world honored him in 1992 by naming a move on the pommel horse the “Delesalle.” In his career, he has scored three perfect tens on the pommel horse.
But in the 1980s, Michael J. Pellowski, in his book, Not-S0-Great Moments in Sports, writes how Delesalle was competing in the Canadian National Championships and was unhappy with his score for his performance on the pommel horse. What makes his dissatisfaction so unusual is that the judges gave him a perfect score! Philip did not believe his performance merited a perfect 10, so he strode to the judges’ table and convinced them to change his score to 9.85. That made him much happier.
When we encounter God’s integrity, we discover we can depend on him. He is trustworthy. Faith involves learning to do the same. When Jesus taught about integrity, he focused on becoming trustworthy. It doesn’t matter if it is a big deal or a trivial matter. Whoever is trustworthy in little things will also be trustworthy in big things.
In 1987, the Rockdale County Bulldogs basketball team won the state title. Their victory was all the more amazing because their coach, Cleveland Stroud, dropped five of his regular players from the team for poor grades. He was now forced to bring up players from the junior varsity to fill out the team.
Three weeks after the championship victory, school officials discovered that one of those junior varsity players was scholastically ineligible. He only played for 45 seconds at the end of a game in which the Bulldogs were leading by 23 points.
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For Coach Stroud there never was any question of what he had to do. He informed the Georgia High School Association of the infraction and surrendered the state trophy.
In a press conference, Stroud said that “You got to do what’s honest and right and what the rules say. I told my team that people forget the scores of basketball games; they don’t ever forget what you’re made of.”
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)