I once heard a story about a fisherman.
He was on a bank where others also were fishing.
Where this man fished had some requirements and rules:
A license, a specific season, a limit of the number of fish taken home, and only certain fish were allowed to be kept.
If a fisherman caught a fish which was not allowed he or she had to return it to the water with as little damage to the fish as possible.
Although these restrictions were in place, it was a remote area.
But this one fisherman was a man of integrity.
He followed the laws and restrictions out of an honest heart, because of his love for God.
While fishing, he was always careful to obey the restrictions.
One day, another man came near.
He too had his rod and tackle and ice chest.
After a brief introduction, he asked the first man if he minded that he share the bank.
The other fisherman did not mind and continued to fish.
Not far after the new comer’s arrival, the first man caught a beautiful fish.
Large and shiny, it would have been a delicious meal for the man’s large family, but it wasn’t allowed to be kept.
Without hesitation, he carefully unhooked it and returned it to the water.
The new comer didn’t comment, but continued to fish.
After a while both caught fish they could keep.
Neither man had reached their limit of fish, so they each continued.
Although, the new comer, at random moments would wind up his bait, ask the first man to keep an eye on his things, and leave for a bit.
He’d then return and go back to fishing.
Finally, after much time had passed, the new comer walked over to speak with the first fisherman.
His words were a surprise.
“I wasn’t completely open with you when I first introduced myself.”
“You see I’m the Fish and Game Warden for this area and I came out to catch those who are not following the rules, to write fines for those who keep fish they shouldn’t.”
“I used you as my cover, because the two of us just looked like fishing pals.”
“I want to thank you for being the kind of guy you are. You follow all the restrictions no matter what.”
The Fish and Game Warden said his goodbyes and left.
This story is a good example of a truth Jesus taught.
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 24:45-51 NKJV
We as followers of Christ need to be people of integrity, no matter the circumstances.
Because our Lord Jesus is coming back some day and in-between then and now we are witnesses to His goodness and His greatness by our actions, our attitudes, and our words.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for others who are people of integrity. Lord, please help me to walk in Your ways today. Thank You for Your faithfulness, Your mercy, and grace. Amen.