Friday, April 17, 2009

Integrity

Integrity is key to every endeavor and situation of life. Read Psalm 26 with me and see if you don't get the same impression. David may have been accused of some wrong doing. I picture him trying to defend himself in the court of public opinion and no one believes him. His only recourse is God. He asks that God would vindicate or defend his innocence and he asserts that he has walked in his integrity. Two times in the chapter (v. 1, 11) he refers to his consistency of living. It's almost as if he is saying, what you see is what you get. Some may think, is he a self righteous braggart? Is it improper to assert one's integrity? No. David is not lifting up a mirror to himself, and like the wicked witch in Snow White, asking, who is the fairest of them all? Instead he points back to the Lord. I have trusted in the Lord without wavering v.1

Prove me, O Lord and try me, test my heart and my mind. He is like an open book before God and others. Read and examine my life. Then he says, for your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness. David points to integrity and honesty of life as it relates to his relationship with the Lord. His main goal is to please God. God is his audience. If he pleases the Lord then he knows he will be a solid person before people. This is how character is formed!

Because he walks with God relationally, there are certain places, certain things and certain people he simply avoids. (v4-5)

I love the last verse-12: My foot stands on level ground. Isn't this a great image of integrity? Solomon says for a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders (or makes level) all his paths (Prov. 5:12). As we go about our lives in the coming days remember the words of Francis Bacon, the philosopher, its not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity.

Precious Lord, your eyes run throughout the earth examining the thoughts and attitudes of everyone. You know us from the inside out. Help us to shun all hypocrisy and attempts to win people over by being slick. Help us to walk before you in all honesty and humility. We have failed in so many ways; forgive us and let us now look unto to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. To you be all glory, amen.