When Paul and Barnabas were in Lystra, Paul healed a lame man and the people began to call the duo gods. Paul and Barnabas tore their clothing as a sign of mourning and shouted at the crowd that they were only human. They could have accepted the glory for themselves. They could have allowed the people to sacrifice to them as they had wished. Instead they spoke of the living God, and things changed.
Even as they spoke the words, the people still attempted to sacrifice to them. But then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium. The Jews influenced the crowd and the men that were once considered gods were now looked at differently. Paul was stoned. He was stoned so badly that they thought he was dead (see Acts 14).
Integrity is rare today. Here we see Paul and Barnabas standing firm. Paul might not have been stoned if he had accepted being called Hermes. But then the message he was sharing all over would not have meant much. The message never changes. The Bible never changes. To be taken serious, we must walk with integrity. We must stand firm even if the stones will come flying. If we present anything but the Truth, we won’t be taken seriously. Integrity costs.
“And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.” – Titus 2:7 [NLT]