PSALM 101:2-4: “I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: Am I a man of integrity? As I read this Psalm I am drawn to ponder this question. Integrity is defined as being – “honest, having strong moral principles.” I have always defined it as being the same both “inside and out”. In other words, what I profess is also what I possess. I am the same when I am under the spotlight, and when I am where no one will ever see me. I have come to understand that integrity is both a “gift” of God’s Grace, and a “choice” that I must make daily as I respond to God’s Grace in my life,
The Psalmist begins by saying – “I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me?” If we are going to walk in integrity, we must grow to understand the way that is blameless. We do this by daily abiding in prayer and in God’s Word. Psalm 119:11-12 says – “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes!” It is only through God’s Word that we learn the way that is blameless. It is only through God’s Grace that we are empowered to walk in this way. “Oh when will you come to me?” We must call upon the Grace of God as we begin each and every day!
The next few things the Psalmist recounts are very practical and very important if we are to become men of integrity. Integrity is not for the “stage” – it is for the “secret place”. We must first master integrity behind the “closed doors” of our homes before we export it to the “stage” of life. If we put on a face when we are in public, and act completely the opposite when we are in private, ultimately the only person we will be fooling is ourselves. People see the cracks of false integrity. What is truly on the inside of our lives will always leak out. I often pray – Lord, change me by Your Grace – from the “inside”…”out”!
The next few thoughts are very pointed and very practical commitments. The Psalmist says – ‘I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.” We live in an age of information overload, and information everything. We can access the most wondrous of truth, or the worst that hell has to offer – simply on our smartphones. The internet has opened the gates wide with an onslaught that is targeting our integrity. We must make a commitment in our hearts, and follow through with action (empowered by God’s Grace), not to go there. If we don’t – we will fall. Jesus said – “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.” (Luke 11:34 ESV)
Romans 16:19 gives us a very helpful exhortation – “For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.” (ESV) Curiosity killed the cat – and curiosity will kill our integrity! This is a daily battle. As long as we are walking this earth, as long as we have a sin nature, we will be engaged in this battle. We never arrive. But we can be victorious through Jesus Christ! When we walk after the Spirit we will put to death and overcome the works of the flesh and the temptations that would lead us away from the integrity of faith in Christ. When we call upon the Lord, abide in Jesus Christ, allow His Word to dwell within us richly – “…A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.”
Lord, this morning I begin the battle again. I know that there is nothing in me that can make me a man of integrity. My integrity comes from You. Help me to understand that my old sinful nature is truly dead through faith in Jesus Christ and I am made alive in and by the Spirit! May Your Word dwell in me richly today so that I can turn away from that which dissuades and follow that which persuades me to be more like Jesus Christ! Keep my eye and heart single I pray. In Jesus Name!