A Life of Integrity.
“Declare me innocent, O Lord, for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.” – Psalm 26:1 NLT
The life of integrity. What exactly is it? David was able to say, “I live with integrity” (Psalm 26:11 NLT). He said that he had acted or literally “walked” (lived his life) with integrity. In the Hebrew language the word is tom and it refers to completeness or wholeness. To live with integrity is to live a life that is non-compartmentalized. In other words, there is no such thing as the secular-sacred split. A person who lives in integrity allows the things of God to impact and influence every area of their life, including their home, work, leisure time, recreation, relationships, finances, etc. There is no area in his life for which someone might be able to point their finger and level an accusation of impropriety or un-Christlike behavior. It is the same idea found in the qualifications for an elder or deacon in 1 Timothy: “If someone aspires to be an elder,he desires an honorable position. So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife.He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinkeror be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church? An elder must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall.Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap. In the same way, deacons must be well respected and have integrity. They must not be heavy drinkers or dishonest with money. They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed and must live with a clear conscience. Before they are appointed as deacons, let them be closely examined. If they pass the test, then let them serve as deacons” (1 Timothy 3:1-10 NLT).
A life of integrity is not a life of perfection, but simply a life where our motives and attitudes are marked by a desire to do what God would have us do. It carries an evidence of a love for the things of God rather than the things of this world. A person of integrity is willing to trust God with their WHOLE life and dedicate every area of their life to His service, not holding back anything for their own selfish pleasures or desires. As David indicates, it is motivated by the unfailing love of God and is a reaction to all that He has done for us in Christ. A person of integrity knows their life does not belong to them, but to God. It is not for them to use as they see fit. That is why David said, “I do not spend time with liars or go along with hypocrites. I hate the gatherings of those who do evil, and I refuse to join in with the wicked” (Psalms 26:4-5 NLT). A person of integrity would rather spend time with God and His people than with anyone else. It is a life of separateness and set-apartness, not compromise and convenience. Which is why David could say, “Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me” (Psalm 26:2 NLT). He was willing to allow God to test the purity of his faithfulness and the validity of his integrity.
What about us? Could our integrity stand up to the heat of God’s scrutiny? Is our life characterized more by compartmentalization or wholeness? Are there any areas of our life for which we refuse to turn control over to God? Because of the integrity of his life, David found himself standing on firm footing. He was trusting on the integrity of God and placing his hope in Him. He had found God to be faithful and true. God had proven Himself to be anything but compartmentalized in His relationship with and reaction to David. And so David was willing to live all of his life for God’s glory. Paul said it this way, “I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him” (Romans 12:1 NLT). God wants a complete or whole sacrifice – not partial. His Son died to redeem all of us, not part of us. To live a life of integrity is to give God all that I am because His Son gave His life to redeem all of me.
Father, I want my life to be marked by integrity. Not the worldly, human version, but the biblical version. I want every area of my life to be Yours. I know I hold parts back, afraid to let You control them. But continue to lovingly pry my hands off of those areas I hold so dear and let me place them on the altar as a sacrifice to You. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men