The Bible describes “Integrity” as state of being complete which is nothing lacking or missing. It also means a state of prosperity or fullness and abundance. But the most common description is the state of being innocent, a heart of perfection and uprightness.
Our generation now needs people of integrity, it starts from those who run the government, and winds down to those who clean the toilets. Because on the last days, people will turn their ears away from the truth. They will follow their own desires and listen only to what they wanted to hear (2 Timothy 4:3, 4). Just like in the Book of Judges, chapter 21 and verse 25, “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.”
You may not be aware of this, but your daily life activities are always confronted by integrity – either yours or someone’s. You deal with it at home, in your neighborhood, in your work place, in stores, in banks, in the streets, in bus stations, in school, in the church, etc. Besides, the news you hear or see has become a kind of a tabloid or a joke per se – hello, is there anybody out there who tells the truth anymore?
A word of caution, however, careful on how you carry yourself, you don’t know who you are dealing with. Didn’t you know that some government agencies and private corporations use “integrity test” as a probe to weed out undesirable employees, to promote honesty, improve morale, and advance work performance in a work place? In fact, there might be some hired private investigators that are following your tracks and video tape your cheating heart – how would you wish you’ll ending up in a five o’ clock news, reality shows, or the hip you tube for being foolish.
As a born again Christian, you shouldn’t have any worries when integrity confronts you eye to eye. Because even God, the Holy Spirit constantly checks our integrity: “For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds.” (Psalm 7:9b NKJV) And this goes with the old saying, “A well-oiled machine doesn’t squeak.” Walk therefore in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh.
David’s Psalm 26 reflects his passions and thoughts, and fervently utters his convictions of his integrity. He gives us insights of how to walk in the integrity of our heart according to the word of God:
- “Declare me innocent, O Lord, for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart.” (Psalm 26:1, 2 NLT)
First, you need to check you motives at all times specially when making a decision to do good works to somebody/anybody. Motives are the driving force behind accomplishing our ardent desires. Motives are difficult to discern, unless they are voluntarily exposed. In fact, you may have good intentions; however, intentions can be induced by a wicked motive that is hidden deeply in your heart. Ultimately, this evil motive emerges and reveals itself only in the aftermath of your deceptions and manipulations. Countless have misused their motives, nevertheless, they reaped what they sow – “plunging like a hysterical sledge and zooming along the icy slope, slamming on a frigid rock, and great is the fall thereof.”
Second, you need to check your heart before jumping into an opportunity being offered. The evil of opportunistic is always at bay, it is a subtle cohort of that evil motive, a hideous opportunistic deep inside a seemingly naïve heart. In the business world, they call him the climber. He will not think twice to annihilate fellow contenders during promotional process. For him, it is the chance of his lifetime. He perfectly keeps his silence to evade telling the truth, and deliberately fail to give credit to whom it is due, and a manipulative in third degree.
Although David is a man of violence, and had been in constant struggle to save his life from his adversaries, he remains living the life of integrity. Because of his integrity, he is confident that the Lord of Hosts will protect and defend him at all cost. Because of his integrity, he is fearless (bold) before God. Because of his integrity, God has chosen him as a king of Israel to care for His people. In many ways, David had the opportunities to behead King Saul and seize the kingship and the kingdom of Israel, but his integrity kept him from committing the unbearable sin. And at the end of the day, he is bold enough to pray that the Lord cross examine and test his motives.
- “Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart …” (1Kings 9:4 NKJV)
- “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You.” (Psalm 25:21NKJV)
- “As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, and set me before Your face.” (Psalm 41:12 NKJV)
- “He also chose David His servant … to shepherd … Israel … according to the integrity of his heart…” (Psalm 78:70-72 NKJV)
- “But as for me, I will walk in my integrity…” (Psalm 26:11a NKJV) “The Lord shall judge the peoples; judge me, O Lord, according to my integrity within me.” (Psalm 7:8 NKJV)
Third, live according to God’s truth and stay away from liars and hypocrites. Amazingly, God never changes. God has been using the integrity of the heart as a benchmark for leadership. Every Christian is a leader. We lead people to Christ. We show them the way and guide them into the right path of righteousness and service to the Lord. Whether you lead a small prayer group or pastors a mega church, the integrity of your heart will sustain you and bring you to success. As you have known already, I hope, that hypocrisy and lie are the opposites of integrity.
- “For I am always aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth. I do not spend time with liars or go along with hypocrites.” (Psalm 26:3, 4 NLT)
Christians are now facing a great challenge in presenting the gospel of Christ. One of the reasons people don’t accept Christianity seriously is because they’re offended by the so called professing Christians. Nothing is wrong with the message of Christ, they said; however, it is the messenger that delivers a wrong message. Christians are supposed to be the light of the world – and it should start in the church
Jesus stated that the truth shall make us free. So, why not free yourself? Sometimes the truth hurts. However, you have no choice but tell the truth. Careful on what you watch and listen. Be reminded that corrupt communication corrupts manners.