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Leading a life with integrity, learn from the ‘Titanic’s’ mistake

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James Cameron, director of the movie “Titanic” said, “The Titanic is a metaphor of life. We are all on the Titanic.” When the Titanic set sail in 1912, it was declared to be “unsinkable” because it was constructed using a new technology.

The ship’s hull was divided into 16 watertight compartments. Up to four of these compartments could be damaged or even flooded and still the ship would float.

Tragically, the Titanic sank on April 15, 1912 and 1,513 people lost their lives. At the time, it was thought that five of its watertight compartments had been ruptured in a collision with an iceberg.

However, on September 1, 1985, when the wreck was found lying upright on the ocean floor, there was no sight on the long gash previously thought to have been ripped in the ship’s hull. What they discovered was that damage to one compartment affected all of the rest.

Many people make the same mistake in life. They think they can divide their lives into different “compartments” and what they do in one will not affect the rest. However, as Rick Warren said, “A life of integrity is one that is not divided into compartments.”

David prayed for “an undivided heart” (Psalm 86:11). David led the people with “integrity of heart” (Psalm 78:72). Supremely, Jesus was a “man of integrity” (Matthew 22:16; Mark 12:14).

How can we learn from the Titanic’s mistake and live lives of integrity? I would like to suggest two areas of our lives to avoid that mistake when it comes to integrity: relationships and money.

Most of us can testify just how hard it is to lead a life of integrity when it comes to our relationships. Temptations abound and the lure is strong, but here is the deception.

While temptation’s lure is about the thrill of the adventure, the reality is that unfaithfulness leads to the deadening of one’s spirit and closest relationships.

However, the Apostle Paul writes that if we set our mind on what our sinful nature desires it leads to death, “but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).

The second area to avoid the Titanic mistake is with our money. I often find it most interesting that Jesus spoke more about money than any other subject.

Twelve of his 38 parables were about money or possessions. As Billy Graham put it, “If a person gets their attitude toward money straight, it will help straighten out almost every other area in their life.”

Money is to be used, but not loved. Don’t love money and use people. Rather love people and use money.

As we can see, it is difficult to avoid the Titanic mistake of integrity. We have and will fall short. Yet Jesus, by hanging on the cross, took our shortcomings so that we could be redeemed, set free and receive the promise of the Spirit to enable us to live lives of integrity.