Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.
In his book The Millionaire Mind, Dr. Thomas J. Stanley studied the habits of several hundred individuals with a net worth of at least $10 million. He really wanted to find out what makes the typical millionaire tick and uncover any common characteristics that contributed to their wealth. As he examined the results of his interviews and surveys, Stanley found a definite connection between personal integrity and financial success. In fact, he ranked integrity as a prime predictor of wealth potential – even higher than an individual’s chosen business or industry.
In other words, integrity matters! The reason so many people struggle with building wealth is that they also struggle with integrity. They lack a basic commitment to honesty. That’s a strong statement. In fact, it may be so strong that you think it doesn’t apply to you. But if you’re breathing and if your heart is beating, you have wrestled with being completely truthful at one time or another – and some of those struggles probably had something to do with money. Simply put, there are two ways to make money and build wealth. You can rely on dishonesty, or you can stay completely committed to integrity. In Proverbs 13:11, Solomon drew a sharp contrast between the two.
Dishonest money may seem to come more easily, but it never lasts. It dwindles away like sand running through our fingers. But honest money, gained through hard work and investment over time, grows. It provides security – not to mention a clear conscience.
Integrity matters – in your finances and in every other part of your life – because a moral breakdown is not a victimless crime. Dishonesty will deeply wound you and those around you. Unless you hold yourself to an ultra-high standard, you will walk through life with an emotional and spiritual limp.
Fortunately, it’s not too late to correct course. If you’ve skimped on integrity in the past, now’s the time to come clean – to yourself, to others and to God. Repair that chink in your armor today. Remember, integrity matters!