Putting Flesh on Integrity
August 3, 2022
Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts. Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends. Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the LORD, and keep their promises even when it hurts. Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent. Such people will stand firm forever. Psalm 15 NLT
Integrity has never been easy or always immediately profitable. If it was, everyone would choose it. Psalm 15 was written by King David who lived about 1000 years before the birth of Christ. Even though he was the most significant figure in his world, he had the same kind of questions any thinking person who is aware there is a God has. Who has a real and vital relationship with God? Who experiences His presence? How can it happen?
David’s descendant Jesus provided salvation and relationship with God in a new and living way, with no thought of ever earning it. We now see this chapter with enlightened eyes. It describes a person who is in right relationship with God and has the power to live this way through the work of Jesus and the promised Holy Spirit. This chapter helps put flesh on identifying characteristics of those who live with the integrity that defines people who live like Jesus. They strive to maintain a blameless conscience and do what is right. They are sincere and speak the truth. They don’t gossip. They are loyal friends. They consider others their neighbors and will not harm them. They hate sin and do not hang around with deliberate sinners. They honor and build relationships with faithful followers of Jesus. They help without looking for personal profit. They will never find a reason or reward great enough to cause them to lie about anyone.
And then the really big one—the one it takes deep integrity to manage: They keep their promises even when it hurts. Doing what you ought to even when—especially when—it costs you. Wouldn’t that be an amazing legacy to leave? Wouldn’t it be great for the people who know you best to be able to say, “She kept her promises even when it hurt? He never left me hanging. He always did what he said he would do.” That’s integrity. That’s the way a Jesus follower lives.
- God, chances are before the week is over I will have an opportunity to keep a promise, to fulfill a commitment, but it will cost me. Help me have the integrity to do it like You do.