Being a Person of Integrity
The LORD judges the nations. Declare me righteous, O LORD, for I am innocent, O Most High!
I our day, little is more precious than integrity. It's so valuable because, unfortunately, it's becoming increasingly rare. Friends say one thing and do another. Leaders make promises they fully intend to break. Preachers rail against the very sins they privately indulge. Where can we find people whose lives are a completely whole, whose hearts, minds, and actions cohere with integrity?
In our translation, Psalm 7:8 says, "Declare me righteous, O LORD, for I am innocent, O Most High!" The original Hebrew of this verse reads more literally, "Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me" (ESV). The word translated as "integrity" in this verse is tom. It has a range of meanings in Hebrew, including: "completeness, fullness, innocence, simplicity, integrity, wholeness." It speaks of a life that hangs together, a life in which all the pieces fit.
Integrity is a result of God's work in us, in which the Spirit helps us to be conformed to the image of Christ, both internally and in our behavior. In a day when so many prominent people lack integrity, it is incumbent upon Christians to seek to be whole people in Christ. Our high calling includes living out who we are in the world so that people might see God's work in us and be drawn to him through the integrity of our lives.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Would you be able, like the psalmist, to ask God to judge you according to the integrity of your life? Where don’t the pieces of your life fit together?
PRAYER: Gracious God, as I reflect on this verse, I’m only too aware of the pieces in my life that don’t fit together well. I see where my faith and my actions don’t match. So I confess today that my integrity falls short, and I really don’t want you to judge me according to the integrity of my life . . . or lack thereof.
How thankful I am that you judge me in light of the integrity of Christ. In this knowledge I am free to approach you, to honor you, to live for you. Nevertheless, I pray that, by your Spirit, you would continue to make me a more complete person, one in whom all the pieces fit together neatly. May my heart match my words and deeds. May I live in such a way that people are drawn to you because of me. Amen.