“Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37, NIV)
Jesus is talking about integrity here. Sunday, we’ll study the story of Joseph – a man of great integrity. His integrity gained Pharaoh’s trust and Joseph became the second most influential man in Egypt.
Johnson and Johnson is a Fortune 500, $360 billion company. The brand has been trusted here and abroad for 130 years. But that almost came to an end in 1982. You may remember, seven people died in the Chicago area after taking cyanide laced Tylenol – ultimately it led to tamper resistant packaging.
No one knew (or knows today) who the serial killer is. And at the time, no one knew if there were more poisoned products out there. That’s when the CEO, James Burke, ordered ALL capsules off the shelf and destroyed. It was a $100 million decision.
When reporters asked him how he could decide so easily and quickly on such a major decision, he read to them J & J’s mission statement: to “operate with honesty and integrity.” He said: “I was simply practicing what we agreed on in our mission statement.”
No denial. No cover-up. No blame casting. Just honesty and integrity. They lost $100 million that day. But they’ve gained it back a million times over since. Americans trust them because of integrity.
Joseph went to jail for his integrity. It cost him two years of his life. But he gained the trust of the Pharaoh and earned his position at the head of Egypt. Both stories remind us: Integrity is rewarded…and it influences others. If we want to be influential for Jesus with our family, neighbors, schoolmates, or co-workers, we must be people of integrity.