The Testimony of Others
"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." And they said, "You have not cheated us or oppressed us, nor have you taken anything from any man's hand."
1 Samuel 13:3-4
There is a freedom that comes in having nothing to hide. Living a life of integrity allows you this freedom. Your integrity is measured not by what you say about yourself but by what God and people say about you. Samuel had lived all his life among the people of God. Leaders who preceded him were dishonest and corrupt; it would have been easy for Samuel to compromise in his dealings as well. Near the end of his life, however, Samuel could boldly stand before his nation and ask them to reveal any offense he had committed against any of them. They could not think of one.
In his position of leadership, Samuel could have taken advantage of people. Yet because he carefully guarded his motives and kept his relationships blameless, Samuel could fearlessly ask the people to report if he had mistreated them in any way. It takes courage to open your life up to the scrutiny of others, but Samuel did not fear what others would say about him. He did not have to avoid anyone whom he had offended. He had a confidence that comes from living a blameless life.
If you have mistreated others, you cannot change the past, but you can choose to live with absolute integrity from this day forward. Living righteously frees you to face any person unashamedly, knowing you have behaved in a Christlike manner. If your reputation is stained, seek forgiveness from those you have offended. Ask God to guide you daily in your relationships so that you have no regrets about your treatment of others.