Integrity is a shortcut to the heart. It gets past all the pretending, the rule following and the head knowledge, and examines the heart and its values. These values should be reflected in our behavior and in how we treat others and what we believe about ourselves, too. As Christians, we should be changed by what we know about Jesus and how He loves us. Many of us are quick to claim that we believe God’s word and agree with His commandments, but if that were the case, wouldn’t it be more evident in our lives?
Unfortunately, it’s never that easy. If it were, we would all be living with integrity all the time! But instead, we wrestle and struggle with understanding ourselves and our desires. We don’t always do what we say we do, or want to do, and we don’t live our lives reflecting our heart’s true values. We see this same internal battle in Paul where he writes in Romans 7:15, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Even Paul struggled with committing to what he knows is right.
Paul goes on to explain in Romans 7 that it is our sinful nature that lives in us and pulls us away from doing the right thing, even when we know what it is and desire to do it. This is simply a repercussion of our original sinful nature and is an area of our lives that we have to trust Gos with. We are to rely on Gods goodness, grace, mercy and forgiveness to flood our hearts and to make up this gap.
Thankfully, God isn’t interested or impressed by what we know or even by what we do. Of course, He desires for us to live in integrity, but He’s interested in our hearts and what is fueling and motivating us to love, honor and glorify His name. He wants our hearts to be continually repentant toward Him, to live in His grace and to extend the same love to others. If we focus our effort toward this, we will look back on our lives and see that it was lived in integrity and in truth.
In the Psalm, David is expressing his definition of a person of integrity as behaving himself wisely in a perfect way; and walking within his house with a perfect heart. David was human, and as such he made mistakes, just like all of us do. But his heart was tender, and as he realized his errors, he repented and made them right. That was why God heard his prayers and blessed him. He demonstrated integrity. We can learn so much from his life and the lessons he learned. The lives we live in our homes will show in our actions outside our homes.
The Cambridge Dictionary describes integrity as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. People with integrity do what is right even behind closed doors. They demonstrate reliability and trustworthiness. When unexpected obstacles come in their path, they show patience and flexibility.
Listed below are seven of the most common traits of a person of integrity. Expressing gratitude for others. Valuing honesty and openness. Taking responsibility and accountability for your actions, good and bad. Respecting yourself and others around you no matter where you are. Helping those in need without sacrificing your own health. Demonstrating reliability and trustworthiness. Showing patience and flexibility, even when unexpected obstacles show up.
So who are you when nobody is looking at you? Do you do the right thing? No matter what the circumstances? May God help us each day to live by the word of shod that says we must tell the truth and be a person of integrity.
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