MARCH 25, 2022  



“Here I am. Witness against me before the LORD and before His anointed: Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I received any bribe with which to blind my eyes? I will restore it to you’” (1 Samuel 12:3 New King James Version).

Samuel had an unblemished career as a judge and prophet in Israel. He started serving God when he was a boy and succeeded his mentor, Eli. He led the people meritoriously.

When he was old, he made his sons judges over Israel. Unfortunately, his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice (1 Samuel 8:1-3). As a result, the Israelites asked Samuel to give them a king to judge them. Saul was eventually chosen as the first king of Israel.

In Samuel’s farewell address to the Israelites, he said, “Here I am. Witness against me before the LORD and before His anointed: Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I received any bribe with which to blind my eyes? I will restore it to you’” (1 Samuel 12:3 New King James Version).

Samuel’s address was a challenge to the people to interrogate him and his leadership and testify against him if he had stolen anything from anyone, cheated anyone, oppressed anyone, collected bribes from anyone, or perverted justice.

But the people had nothing negative against his character. They, as it were, passed a vote of confidence in him. “And they said, ‘You have not cheated us or oppressed us, nor have you taken anything from any man’s hand’” (1 Samuel 12:4 New King James Version).

How many leaders can honestly throw that kind of challenge to their followers or subjects today? Beyond a stage-managed endorsement, how many leaders can the people vouch for their honesty and incorruptibility? Even if the people won’t come to testify because of the fear of persecution, they are laughing at their leaders’ hypocrisy and sanctimonious claim of integrity.

1 Samuel 12:5 says, “Then he said to them, ‘The LORD is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.’ And they answered, ‘He is witness’” (New King James Version). Samuel said, “My hands are clean” (1 Samuel 12:5 New Living Translation). In your relationships with others or the exercise of your authority, are your hands clean? Repent of any abuse of power. Live with integrity.

Integrity is “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles that you refuse to change” (Cambridge Dictionary). Job said, “Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me”  (Job 27:5b New King James Version). Live with integrity. Don’t compromise your integrity. Relate with others in the fear of God and avoid or stop stealing, cheating, oppressing, perverting justice, etc.

Embrace honesty and accountability among others. Be accountable to God and the people you lead or others. King David said, “The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me: ‘He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God’” (2 Samuel 23:3 New King James Version).

While Paul was in Miletus, he sent for the elders of the church at Ephesus. After they have arrived, he began to talk to them, telling them how he had lived among them and served the Lord with all humility and many tears and trials, which happened to him when the Jews plotted against him (Acts 20:17-19). He told them that he kept back nothing that was helpful but proclaimed it to them, and taught them publicly and from house to house, testifying to the Jews and the Greeks repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ (verses 20-21). 

In his lengthy address to the Ephesian elders, Paul, as Samuel did, spoke about his integrity. He said, “I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:33-35 New King James Version). None among them disputed what he said because it was the truth.

Paul, writing to the Corinthian Christians, said that although he had the right partake of material things from them like the others, having ministered spiritual things to them, he did not use the right but endured all things lest he should hinder the gospel of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:11-12). Paul worked with his hands to provide for himself and his team so that nobody in the church would think that he preached the Gospel because of money.

Paul also said to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 7:2, “Open your hearts to us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one” (New King James Version). Emphasizing how he had related with them in integrity and Titus whom he sent to them had also done, Paul said to the Corinthians, “Did I take advantage of you by any of those whom I sent to you? I urged Titus, and sent our brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not walk in the same spirit? Did we not walk in the same steps?” (2 Corinthians 12:17-18 New King James Version).  

Live with integrity. This is not limited to the ministry. In every department of your life, let integrity be your watchword so that you can have the kind of confidence that Samuel and Paul had. Proverbs 28:6 says better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one perverse in his ways, though he is rich. A good name is better than precious ointment (Ecclesiastes 7:1a). Also, a good name is to be chosen rather than great riches (Proverbs 22:1a).

David said, “Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the LORD; I shall not slip” (Psalm 26:1 New King Jams Version). He also said in verse 11 that he would walk in his integrity and asked the LORD to redeem him and be merciful to him. You, too, should walk in integrity.

Integrity pays. Integrity will preserve you. David said the LORD upheld him in his integrity and set him before His face forever (Psalm 41:12). Proverbs 20:7 says the righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him. Walk in integrity.

He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known (Proverbs 10:9). Integrity will establish you. The LORD told Solomon,  “And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel” (1 Kings 9:4-5 New King James Version).

Live with integrity. Proverbs 11:3 says the integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. Paul told Timothy, his son in the ministry, to show integrity, reverence, and incorruptibility in doctrine  (Titus 2:7b). Show integrity in all you do. Live with integrity.


If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of my lack of integrity in every department of my life. Holy Spirit, help me to live with integrity based on the Word of God. Guide me to relate with others in the fear of God and avoid/stop stealing, cheating, oppressing, or perverting justice. I will not prefer money to a good name. As a child of God, I will not compromise my integrity in Jesus’ name.

(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit

T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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