After fighting in World War I, George Stadsklev went to Bible college to become a missionary. He married another Norwegian-American, Mable Hansen, and they soon sailed to Africa. Two of their five children died there as they ministered among the Baoulé people of the Ivory Coast.
In 1941, missionaries there had to flee the Nazi occupation. After seeing his wife and kids safely home to Minnesota, George reached an agreement with the U.S. War Department. If they would let him return to the field, he would do his mission work while pretending to be a Norwegian bachelor; he would also send the Allies information about Nazi activities in that part of Africa. He would be completely on his own, though; he could expect no help from his family, his mission agency or the U.S. government.
For three years behind enemy lines, George secretly served African believers and his country. When the war ended, he came home, tormented by several tropical diseases that eventually killed him. But before he died, someone at church asked him why he had done it. He replied, “Well, because I said I would." Psalm 15 lists some of those whom God will welcome into Heaven. Among them will be people like George Stadsklev, “who kept his oath even when it hurt” (vs.4).
Most of my blog-reviews have featured books about the character of God, but Jerry White’s Honesty, Morality & Conscience is more about the character of people who love and imitate God. In 2016, a year in which integrity seems increasingly irrelevant to leadership and honesty seems as antiquated as the Pony Express, Christians like George Stadsklev stand out in stark contrast to the world around them, and they draw attention to the holiness of God.
Two such people, Jerry and Mary White, live here in Colorado Springs. They have written some fine Christian books, and this one may be their best. In 1973, before leading the Navigators and writing books like this, Jerry also co-authored the standard textbook on astrodynamics, a book still used at the Air Force Academy! So if NASA ever sends someone to Mars, Jerry will deserve some of the credit. He is a rocket scientist — honest! And speaking of honesty...
“The LORD detests lying lips, but He delights in men who are truthful” (Proverbs 12:22).
God hates deceit of any kind, but when each aspect of our lives (family, church, work, school, sex, money, entertainment, etc.) is lived with integrity, we delight Him! While integrity does not earn God’s favor, it is one of our responses to God’s holiness and His Word.
In this down-to-earth book, Jerry examines real-life situations in light of scripture. What does the Bible teach about honesty, lying, deceit, peer pressure, and money? Each chapter describes practical ways in which we can “strive always to keep our conscience clear before God and man” (Acts 24:16). In homes, hotels, stores, airports, offices, churches, or school—anywhere we live our daily lives — we make countless choices every day. Those choices have moral and spiritual implications in the building of our character.
Did that waiter forget to bill us for our desserts? Would my wife want me to close the office door when I interview this woman? I didn’t spend very much on this trip, but I could easily submit another few hundred dollars in ‘expenses’ to be refunded; the accounting department is expecting it, so why not? That porn site is just a mouse click away, and who will ever know?
Dr. Jerry White writes about how our moral choices depend upon convictions, and godly convictions are built upon sustained attention to God’s Word. In Honesty, Morality & Conscience, he says,
“There is no substitute for the serenity and certainty that come from a life of conviction, springing from daily quiet times with God and from a deep personal study of His Word. Only then can we walk in quiet assurance that God is in control of our lives.”
Pick up a copy of this wonderful book and deepen your commitment to grow in God-pleasing integrity.