In Psalms 15:1, King David asks God: “Who may reside in Your tent?” In other words, who is going to be with God? The answer is in verse 2 when David writes: “One who walks with integrity, practices righteousness and speaks truth in his heart.”
Most people are tempted at one time or another to compromise their integrity. That is why David earnestly prayed and pleaded in Psalm 91:
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.” Psalm 51:10-11.
God wants us to be honest, pure, and sincere in our faith. God wants our faith to be real. In our heart of hearts. We need to have our steadfast belief and a sincere love of God.
Likewise, when tempted by sin, that deep belief must shine forth through our entire being to be applied to our life’s circumstances. That is life application of our faith.
Being authentic and honest in faith and honest with our fellow man is called integrity. We need to have integrity of faith in all we think, say and do.
In early America, a man’s word was his bond. A handshake was all that was necessary to seal an agreement. Often there were no written, enforceable contracts. If a man did not keep his word, his reputation was ruined. When men said they would do a thing, they would do it. Most men were men of their word, and it was important to be a man who honored his word.
The Bible speaks of integrity throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament. When we think about the fact that our Christian faith makes us a better person, integrity is a necessary and an absolute building block of the Godly man or the Godly woman. Without integrity a personal testimony is of no worth.
Our faith is about God’s truth. Honesty is about truth, and acting honestly is about integrity. All these facets of living are interconnected and regulated by the truth of God as expressed in scripture and our deep desire to live honestly in God’s truth. That is why dishonest people do not enter the kingdom of heaven (Romans 1), and that is why we must earnestly seek to be honest and authentic in our life of faith.
The question arises, what is truth? Your truth or my truth? The quest to determine truth has occupied philosophers and academics since ancient times. Hollywood stars sought out gurus to tell them what truth was. But for those who follow Christ, the answer is crystal clear. When Jesus prayed to the Father for us in John 17:17, He prayed: “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” The Word of God as contained in the Bible is truth. You can rely on scripture to always enrich the abundant life of integrity Christ gives to the believer.
Dr. Roger Holl is pastor of Sterling Grace Community Church. The church meets at the Sterling Senior Center at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. All ages are welcome. For more information call 907-862-0330.