Proverbs 2:6–8 (ESV) — 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; 7 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8 guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.
Have you ever asked, “Where’s the integrity today?” It is commonplace to see famous people on television make excuses for not keeping their word. Sadly, the epidemic has spread. It is hard to find people who keep their word and are on time for appointments rather than keep people waiting, and actually do what they say they will do.
In the scripture text above from Proverbs, Solomon points out that God notices our integrity and is quick to reward it with wisdom, understanding, and protection. Of course, you could say that all integrity comes from God as we rely upon Him and live to please Him.
Psalm 1:1–2 (ESV) — 1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
The integrity of a person’s life is really a heart issue. People who continue to overcommit themselves, so they are always late for appointments have a heart problem. They are taking on more than they can handle to fill the void in their lives, or they are so wrapped up with themselves they care little about the other people involved in the appointment. People who make commitments and do not live up to them also have a heart issue. There’s a lack of respect for truth which is really a lack of respect for God and His Word.
The integrity described in Psalm 1 is an outflow of a focus upon God and His Word. If you have a problem keeping your word in appointments kept and promises made, perhaps you should look at what you really think of God. Are you aware that He sees your heart? Are you aware that He knows every promise you have made and not kept? Are you aware that every misrepresentation of truth is a slap in His face?
Now, we all recognize that outside things happen that keep us from being on time or delivering on a promise at a given time. Wouldn’t you agree that in this day of instant communication, there is no excuse not to let people know and take responsibility?
Proverbs 10:9 (ESV) — 9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
Proverbs 11:2–3 (ESV) — 2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. 3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
Proverbs 19:1 (ESV) — 1 Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
The person who lives with integrity is blessed because they live according to a higher standard than most people. There is no fear of being tested by God because decisions are made with the witness of God in mind.
Job 31:6 (ESV) — 6 (Let me be weighed in a just balance, and let God know my integrity!)
Psalm 26:1–3 (ESV) — 1 Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. 2 Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind. 3 For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.
Integrity comes from dependency.
As we depend upon God to live with integrity, we find the prompting of the Holy Spirit, the wisdom from God, and the grace to fulfill promises we have made. In fact, without that dependency, we are doomed to fail.
1 Corinthians 10:12 (ESV) — 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.
How is your integrity? Can others count on what you say and what you promise? Are you living up to promises made before God and others? What about your marriage vows? What about your church membership vows?
God expects us to be people of integrity, that rely upon Him, that fear Him, that live by His Word. In doing so there is great reward.
Psalm 19:7–11 (ESV) — 7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; 8 the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; 9 the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. 11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.