INTEGRITY

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PSALM 15

A psalm of David

1 LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?

2 He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;

3 He who does not backbite with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,

Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;

4 In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
But he honors those who fear the LORD;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;

5 He who does not put out his money at usury,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things shall never be moved.

What legacy would you like to hand down to  your children?

The wise one, Solomon, underscores a virtuous inheritance that all fathers and mothers should delight in.  “The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him” (Proverbs 20:7).

As the world of commerce grows even more corrupt and deceptive, integrity has become a much-admired moral quality.  In the Scriptures, the word has rich meaning, referring to wholeness or completeness.  The individual of integrity is thus someone whose work, home, finances, and relationships function together without contradiction or disharmony  Such a life is, in the fullest sense, in accord with God’s will in every area.

Several insights into the value that God places on the person of integrity can be found in the scriptural accounts of godly leaders.

LEAVE NO GROUND FOR ACCUSATION

As the prophet Samuel prepared to anoint Saul as king, he described his own priestly administration in these terms: “I have walked before you from my childhood to this day…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?” (1 Samuel 12:2).

To each question, the Israelites responded with a resounding affirmation of Samuel’s irreproachable leadership.  Thus integrity is a clear testimony of our private and public behavior to our associates, friends, and family. Integrity leaves no ground for accusation. “The Lord is witness…this day, that you have not found anything in my hand” (1 Samuel 12:5).

TRUST IN GOD

A remarkable case study of integrity is Job’s response to his catastrophes.  After the death of seven sons and three daughters, he loss of his great herd of sheep and cattle, and a painful case of horrible skin lesions, Job is praised by God:  “There is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil. And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause” (Job 2:3).

The man of integrity has as his foundation reverence for God, which influences all of his life.  That reverence includes obedience to the Word of God and an accompanying hatred and avoidance of evil.  Such is his trust and confidence in the faithfulness of God that he refuses to blame God for adversity.

SEEK TO PLEASE GOD

Another illuminating example of integrity is the life of David.  “Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity” (Psalm 26:1).  “So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart” (Psalm 78:72).

The primary thought expressed in David’s songs is the idea of blamelessness. Such a meaning does not suggest sinlessness. Obviously, David was not without iniquity.  What is intended is a heart that, despite transgressions, was always bent on pleasing God. Thus, integrity is a consuming desire to acknowledge and obey the Father, in conjunction with a readiness to repent and confess sin. The man of integrity is, like David, “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14).

What better legacy can you leave your children than an upright, blameless life – the virtue of INTEGRITY.

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