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Psalm 101:2-5

NIV “I will be careful to lead a blameless life– when will you come to me? I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart.  NET 3 I will not even consider doing evil; I will have no part of it. 4 I will have nothing to do with a perverse person; I will not permit evil. 5 I will destroy anyone who slanders his neighbor in secret.  I will not tolerate anyone who has a haughty demeanor and an arrogant attitude.”

1 Kings 9:4

“You must serve me with integrity and sincerity, just as your father David did.  Do everything I commanded and obey my rules and regulations.”

Job 2:9

“Then his wife said to him, ‘Are you still holding firmly to your integrity? Curse God, and die!'”

1 Corinthians 9:27

“Instead I subdue my body and make it my slave, so that after preaching to others I myself will not be disqualified.”

1 Corinthians 10:12

“So let the one who thinks he is standing be careful that he does not fall.”

Proverbs 10:9

“The one who conducts himself in integrity will live securely, but the one who behaves perversely will be found out.”

Hebrews 13:18

“Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to conduct ourselves rightly in every respect.

1 Chronicles 29:17

“I know, my God, that you examine thoughts and are pleased with integrity. With pure motives I contribute all this; and now I look with joy as your people who have gathered here contribute to you.

Psalm 51:6

“Look, you desire integrity in the inner man; you want me to possess wisdom.”

Psalm 101 was one of the first verses that captivated my heart.  There is something so pleasant about choosing, by God’s grace, to walk in integrity in every corner of your life.  I recall those early days of my salvation when my heart was quickened to not do things I had done before – things I did when I walked in darkness.  Suddenly I was excited to throw out music that did not honor God, which just moments before I could not live without.  In a moment I no longer wanted to just celebrate the holidays the culture around me embraced.  I wanted to live thoughtfully and walk in obedience to what the Holy Spirit convicted me of.  What a miracle salvation is!

Eyes opened to God’s requirements and my falling short, there was an eagerness to walk uprightly and still is.  Walking with others who also desired to live godly lives, I surrounded myself in this culture of integrity.  Sounds wonderful – I thought I would never have to worry about fading.  The problem is, in that Christian culture we can be deceived and go into autopilot.  We can begin to place confidence in past shining moments of our salvation and not recognize the natural slow drift that slowly pulls us away with compromise, the devil’s language.  We can forget that the very ability to walk in integrity is dependent on continuing to walk closely with God, not a once-and-done character change.

Sanctification means that our salvation is still being worked out.  We never walk in the dangerous path of thinking we have arrived.  We dare not accept every opinion around us just because it was spoken by a godly person.  We dare not think we are ever above accountability and transparency in every aspect of our walk.  No, we have to maintain our integrity and constantly filter our hearts and minds through the lens of God’s Word.  Grace applied liberally, some will try to tempt us to let go of our integrity, denouncing us as legalistic or too vigilant.  A legalistic approach begins to make walking in integrity another good work, which man will praise you for.  Whatever man’s view, God requires integrity – in the innermost parts of our soul, not just an external behavior.

Devastation can set in when you recognize a lack of integrity in your own life.  Don’t permit condemnation hurled at you by the enemy, but instead acknowledge the sin that is revealed and submit to God to change you.  Be grateful that you can see and don’t placate or make excuses for the rising conviction in your soul.  We are all humbled at the recognition that none of us is always full of integrity – but we can continually seek to be.  Lastly, the only comparison to be made with ourselves is to Jesus – the only truly Righteous One.  Comparing to others to elevate our own integrity proves we still lack it.  That age-old definition of integrity – you are who you are when no one else is around, is still a good barometer, but even greater is not just an outward performance, where we glory momentarily at doing what we are supposed to, rather an inward circumcision daily of the heart.

Lord, test my heart and reveal my inner motives that are hidden from me.  Help me to never grow weary of seeking to walk blamelessly in every aspect of this life that You have given.  Thank You for Your faithful mercy and forgiveness.  Awaken the bride of Christ to continue to walk in integrity.

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