Growing up, many of us can relate to being lost, if not wayward at some point in our life. By the grace of God and fervent prayer by my mother, this lost sheep is now preparing to be a shepherd for God’s flock. I now do my best to live a life with integrity, one that brings honor & glory to God. I strive to make sure that my actions don’t disagree with my words. In the Bible, we can read many accounts of integrity in action. David led his people with integrity of heart and Daniel refused to compromise his, even when his life was on the line. Our integrity is the moral fiber of our character and even though we have all sinned & fallen short of God’s glory, now is the time for us to do what is right & what God has called us to do, even when no one is looking.
Our sinful nature can lead us to only do what we are supposed to when someone is looking & what we are not supposed when no one is looking. When we do, we fail to realize is that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, so we must maintain a lifestyle that is whole, sound, unimpaired, & uncompromising. I am often asked why I can’t do certain things and I reply it is not that I can’t, it is that I choose not to. It is easy to live with integrity when things are going good, but when faced with adversity & when everyone else is compromising; that is when true integrity is found.
To maintain our integrity & avoid moral failure, we must guard our hearts & minds. Ephesians 4:22-24 tells us, “Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” Unfortunately, David’s story was not one full of integrity and as we read, there would be consequences for his sin. During David’s fall, it became evident that sin only led to more sin. Ultimately, he lost his self-respect and his house became divided. Fortunately, that would not be the end of his story. Because he turned from his wicked ways and returned to being a man of integrity, he once again became a man truly after God’s own heart.
We often hear people talk about hindsight or if they had only known. I propose something different; we need to be proactive. We must recognize areas of our life where we are vulnerable and continually pray for God’s continued strength & protection in those areas. We must guard our heart, mind, marriage, health & what we allow our eyes to see & what we allow our ears to hear. People are not perfect; we all have weaknesses and areas we are vulnerable, so never believe you are above any type of sin. Praise God when we do sin, when we repent of our sinful ways, He is faithful and He will forgive us & purify us for all unrighteousness.
In closing, I want you to meditate on a passage from my Relationships & Ethics text by T. Ray Rachels. “The essential work of God in the world is to discover through the Holy Spirit’s conviction, people in whom He can work, sinners whom He can convert, Christians whom He can restore, & churches where His restoring grace can bring light from the darkness. The Holy Spirit can work through us to bring life where death has been & integrity where unreliability has ruled.”