I trust that by now we understand why God so delights in integrity. God is concerned with the little things no less than with the big ones. It’s stunning to think that God views everything we do or think in life as either an abomination or a delight!
Let me ask you this: Do you regard minor misrepresentations in deeds and words as only part of the game everyone plays? Or, do you regard them as an abomination to God?
Job must have understood this because he was so upset at the prospect of losing his. He protested, ”… till I die, I will not deny my integrity.” (Job 27:5 NIV) I have observed that those who have attained a high degree of integrity like Job, carefully guard it because they know that they were not born with it. It was gained by ongoing and continuous righteous living, it takes so long to acquire! It takes years, decades, even a lifetime to reach that state in which a child of God walks in godly integrity. There are no shortcuts!
Now let me ask you this question, “Can we lose our integrity?” The answer to this is obviously, “Yes.” We may lose our integrity through sin! What kind of sin? Every kind of sin is a sin! But the enemy is much more subtle in its approach to Christians with true integrity. The sin the enemy uses most effectively is COMPROMISE.
I observed that both in the body of Christ (the Church) and in the Scripture compromise is Satan’s most effective weapon against Christians with true integrity.
Let’s examine the lives of King Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-10) & King Asa (1 Kings 15: 9-24)
King Solomon walked before the Lord with integrity until he began to compromise his worship of the Only True God with that of pagan gods. King Asa walked blameless before the Lord until, in his old age, he began to compromise his reliance on God.
Will An Act of compromise Strip You of Your Integrity? A single act of compromise MAY not rob you of your integrity before God.
Let’s study Galatians 2:11-15
We see here that, Apostle Peter compromised his integrity when he refused to eat with Gentile Christians when other Jewish leaders from Jerusalem showed up in Antioch. This single act of compromise did not rob him of his integrity before God. I don’t think that Peter’s behavior was enough to strip him of his integrity before God. However, a habitual compromise of integrity starts with that first decision to compromise!
What Do I Mean?
When Peter compromised, Paul admonished him about his behavior. That is why we are directed to admonish one another according to Romans 15:14. When we are admonished, we avoid beginning that pattern of compromise. But when we aren’t corrected, the problem now arises as compromise becomes a habit and custom. It is then that the Christian is on the brink of losing his or her integrity.
Perhaps you read this and think, what about those with less-than-perfect integrity? I have good news for you, God desires to see every one of His children fully sanctified, walking in true integrity. So, if you find yourself measuring short and want to change, prayerfully study and meditate on Psalms 15:1-5 and Psalms 24:3-5 and begin to apply these scriptures.
Every Christian should strive to develop clean hands, and a pure heart, have no other idols before him, and never be a false witness. As you begin to diligently apply these truths to your life, the Holy Spirit will surely help you to make it a lifestyle.
Will Occasional Failure Occur?
Yes, it will! Don’t give up when it occurs, God honors perseverance. This must be a permanent change of lifestyle. Never revert back to the old ways. As the months turn into years, that priceless godly integrity will become obvious to all, including yourself!
Lord, I know that you have called us to a life of godly integrity. And I know that there are areas in our lives that fall short. I ask you now, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to begin to develop in us clean hands and a pure heart. May we forever turn from all idols in our lives and never again bear false witness.
I trust you, Lord to continue that sanctifying work you have begun in us so that one day we will be able to stand before you with the godly integrity you so treasure. In the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
Remember, a habitual compromise of integrity starts with that first decision to compromise!