After my son graduated from college, he decided to sell his Toyota Tacoma. So, we posted it on Craigslist. A man named Steve called almost immediately and offered to buy it over the phone. I told him that I’d prefer not to do business that way. After he came and looked at the truck, we could talk.
Steve said, “But I’m afraid someone will beat me to it. Just tell me what you have to have, and I’ll be there with the money whenever you say.” I promised to hold the truck, explaining again that I wouldn’t sell it to anyone without meeting him first. And Steve said, “But people have told me that before, and then I have come along and found it sold.”
Think about the implications of Steve’s prior experiences. A man gives his word to wait on him and then sells his vehicle to the first person with cash in hand. In other words, the seller’s integrity is for sale.
The Bible praises the man who “swears to his own hurt and does not change” (Ps. 15:4). Suppose that you have a yard sale. A stranger offers you $100 for an antique chair. You accept. She goes to an ATM to get the money. While she is gone, a neighbor strolls over, notices the chair, and offers $150. You have sworn to your own hurt. Keeping your word is going to cost you $50.
Which is worth more to you – your character or your money? Selling our integrity for cash may not be much different from trading our soul for it. Jesus says, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matt. 16:26).