A friend emailed me this devotional thought, I am not sure where he got it from but I found it helpful so thought I’d pass it on to you.
‘…I have walked in…integrity…’
(Psalm 26:1 NKJV)
To protect themselves from the barbaric hordes from the north, the people of China built the Great Wall. It was so high nobody could climb over it and so thick nobody could break through it, so they settled back to enjoy life. During the first hundred years of the wall’s existence, China was invaded three different times. Not once did the enemy try to break down the wall or climb over it; they simply bribed the gatekeeper and marched in.
While those who built it were relying on their wall of stone, they neglected to teach integrity to their children. As a result they grew up without moral and spiritual principles to guide them.
Have you ever watched a big tree fall while others around it stood tall? How come the same storm that builds strength in one, topples another? You’ll find the answer in the tree’s core and roots.
When it comes to building integrity, here are some questions you should ask yourself regularly:
(1) Am I the same, no matter who I’m with?
(2) Am I willing to make decisions that are best for others, even though another choice would benefit me more?
(3) Can I be counted on to keep the commitments I’ve made to God, myself and others? Can you say like the Psalmist,
‘Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in…integrity…’? (Psalm 26:1 KJV)
Life is like a vice: at times it will squeeze you. In those moments whatever is inside will come out. Image-building and self-interest promise much but produce little, but integrity never disappoints. So, work on your integrity.
‘May integrity…protect me…’ Psalm 25:21 NIV
Though repeatedly tempted by Potiphar’s wife, Joseph said no. Faced with similar circumstances, David said yes. But the story doesn’t end there. David married Bathsheba; when their son Solomon grew up
‘He had seven hundred wives…and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray.’ (1 Kings 11:3 NIV)
Integrity may not seem like a big deal now, but your lack of it will have far-reaching consequences. Integrity means keeping commitments, even though the circumstances in which you made them have changed. One leader points out that when integrity is the referee, your lips and your life will be in agreement. Your beliefs will be mirrored by your behaviour.
There’ll be no discrepancy between what you appear to be and what you are, whether in good times or bad. Integrity is not only the referee between opposing value systems, it’s the decision maker between being at peace and being fragmented within. It frees you to become a whole person no matter what comes your way.
Are you trustworthy? Will Rogers said: ‘
People’s minds are changed through observation, not argument. People do what people see. What they hear, they understand; what they see, they believe and follow.’
That’s why a corrected and contrite Psalmist prayed,
‘Guard my life…let me not be put to shame…May integrity…protect me…’ (Psalm 25:20-21 NIV)