Integrity

 

“Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? “The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; “

– Psalms 15:1&2

One of the most important characters of a disciple is integrity. Apostle Paul, a faithful servant of God (Acts24:12-13) was accused of dissension and answers boldly before the governor that none of the accusers could prove any of their accusations against him. He was sure of his blameless life before man and God. (Ps15) begins with the question who would dwell in God’s holy hill. (v2), answers that one who walks uprightly, works righteousness and speaks the truth in his heart would abide in God’s tabernacle.

Integrity is a character God desires of those who want to dwell with Him in Eternity. This is a character which others would opinionate that you are a man/woman of integrity and is not a feature of your life on earth. This is the testimony people around you should have of you. Integrity should be reflected through you in the manner you conduct yourself at all levels of your life ie, being sincere, truthful and righteous. The Antonym of integrity is dishonest or unrighteous devotion. Such people do not speak from their heart. Many of us would have experienced dislike towards anyone with whom we have been sincere and honest but was not returned in the same manner. This retaliation could leave a dislike in one’s heart. (Ps15:1&2) affirms the character God expects of His child. If we want God’s presence with us in our lives and to be in fellowship with our Lord, it’s important to examine ourselves and how we conduct ourselves. The greatest deceit is self deception. Self deception happens when you know the truth but hides the truth and speaks its opposite.

 

Judas Iscariot walked with Jesus as one of His dear disciples. But the Bible teaches us that Judas Iscariot deceived Jesus. God Himself has testified of many of His devoted servants like Job that he is a man of integrity.

 

(Job1:8). Job retained his integrity despite his wife mocking him in the midst of his loss (Job2:9 &10) and instead said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” In all this Job said “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job1:21).

 

Integrity is keeping oneself from wavering according to the circumstances. Integrity is remaining faithful to one’s righteous decisions even in adverse situations. Joseph was a slave in Potiphar’s palace. Although he faced circumstances where he could’ve silently sinned it was his integrity that held him up. Joseph’s loyalty towards God made him withstand opposing circumstances. Integrity is remaining firm to the righteousness within you in spite of being in the midst of sinful circumstances. One who stands faithful before God can never be disloyal in his/her faith in Him nor be inclined to unrighteous deeds. The nature of integrity encompasses self discipline and a commitment. It is a commitment not to falter in one’s righteous principles in any situation. It is an undivided decision, which means being of the same character whether at home, church or at work.

If you agree to the characters or acts of a wicked person you become an accomplice to his/her wickedness.

 

God expects righteousness from us. Integrity reveals who you are. It reveals your righteousness, your truthfulness, your faithfulness, yourself without any pretension. (Ps15) mentions all the characters of a person of integrity.

  1. He is one who speaks the truth in his heart.
  2. He will never backbite. Caleb and Joshua were two people with integrity that set them apart from the majority.
  3. (Job 27:5 & (Job 2:9)) Job was determined to retain his integrity until he dies.
  4. (Ps19:14) We see David praying “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my Strength, and my Redeemer.” We who have accepted Jesus Christ as our personal savior need to examine ourselves of our loyalty and trustworthiness to others.

 

Advantages of being a person with integrity

(Job 2:3) “……..And still he holds fast to his integrity…” Job holds fast to his integrity. God talks proudly of Job to satan because God saw that although he suffered loss in every level of his life he still held fast to his integrity. Job persevered and did not give up his loyalty and truthfulness towards God. Our actions/behavior reflects who we are especially in adverse circumstances. In such situations our determination, our commitment and surrender of ourselves towards God in all honesty and sincerity is tested. Integrity is pleasing to God.

 

(1Chron 29:17) “ I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You.” God sees our heart and it pleases Him if we are upright.

 

(Prov 15:20) “A wise son brings joy to his father”. God is pleased when we walk in His wisdom and

according to His will.

 

(Prov 11:3) “The integrity of the upright shall guide them:..” Desire to walk uprightly and you will be guided in the right direction. We understand from the book of Job that he himself did not know his direction but his integrity made him rely on God by saying that “I know my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth.”(Job19:25).

Joseph was happy even when he was imprisoned because of his uprightness and was blameless before God and men. Therefore he could boldly say that His God would deliver him.

 

(Ps 25:2) “O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.”

God did not deliver His righteous saints into the hands of satan. Daniel was thrown into the den of lions but God preserved his life. God Himself came down as man and was the fourth person in the fire among Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. God honored their righteous living and would not allow satan to touch their lives. A man of integrity lives righteously and God hears his cry for help.

 

(Prov 20:7) “The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.”

 

The truth of God in our hearts and according to God’s truth within us we are able to face any situation righteously. This righteous living is one of the greatest gifts we can hand down to our children. In order to walk uprightly you need to be righteous. Only a righteous man can live an honest and sincere life.

 

Integrity produces innocence. We should be determined to speak the truth as what we speak happens in our lives. We should not be callous in our talk but keep our word so that God may be exalted through us. Jesus says in (Matt5:37) “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No. ‘ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” We ought to pray that God gives us the grace to keep our word.

(1Kings 9:4) “And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded.” God said the above verse to Solomon about his father David.

 

(Ps 51:10) “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” We should seek to live with a pure heart.

 

(Ps 26:1&11) “Vindicate me, O Lord, For I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord; I shall not slip.” v.11 “But as for me, I will walk in my integrity; Redeem me and be merciful to me.” The Psalmist prays thus in the midst of adversities. He is sure that God’s grace will deliver him.

 

We too ought to pray asking God to examine our hearts, to identify our weakness and to create a pure heart in us and renew a steadfast spirit within us. Those who see us should be drawn towards God. We should be careful in our speech and always pray that the words of our lips and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to God, our Redeemer and Strength.

 

Those who are innocent in their hearts will walk uprightly and they dwell in the holy hill of God. Let us allow God to examine us and make our hearts holy. Children ought to be honest and truthful to their parents. It is a blessing to be open to your parents. God does not expect us to speak or behave as opposed to the truth in our heart May we walk in integrity in every level of our lives because those who walk in righteousness will lack no good thing, God will never leave you nor forsake you. May God be pleased and exalted through us.

 

Pr Juxy Mathew