It used to be that Christians and non Christians held the Bible in high esteem. Just about everyone could agree that its principles for living were good. It became the standard of what was right and wrong even by people who didn’t trust or believe in Jesus. Today, it is no longer regarded that way in society. Each person or people group is now believed to have their own standard of what right and wrong is. Our world has moved from a place of absolute truth to one where truth is relative to the person looking at it.
Integrity is not just about being honest. It’s also about holding yourself to a higher standard. As Christians, it’s important that we don’t lower the bar of what truth is just because the world has. The truth of God’s Word and the principles in it are not relative to how you’re feeling or want to interpret them. Our lives must be lived by the integrity of the Bible. Its truth has endured thousands of years and will continue to. If we want to live lives of integrity, we do it by building them on the Word of God.
Here are some Bible verses on living a life of integrity.
1. Above all, set yourself apart as a model of a life nobly lived. With dignity, demonstrate integrity in all that you teach.
Titus 2:7 TPT
2. The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.
Proverbs 20:7 NLT
3. O LORD, who may lodge [as a guest] in Your tent? Who may dwell [continually] on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity and strength of character, and works righteousness, And speaks and holds truth in his heart.
PSALMS 15:1-2 AMP
4. The evil of bad people leaves them out in the cold; the integrity of good people creates a safe place for living.
Proverbs 14:32 MSG
5. Integrity will lead you to success and happiness, but treachery will destroy your dreams.
Proverbs 11:3 TPT
Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash
I’ve always heard it said that integrity isn’t what you do in front of others, it’s what you do when no one else is around. Many times we are one person at work, another person at church, another person with our friends, and another person at home. In fact, when doing a DISC personality assessment, we tell people to pick their environment. Some more comprehensive ones actually show you the differences in your personality type between the environments.
When it comes to being a Christian, it’s important that we always live with integrity no matter what environment we are in. We don’t have to pretend that we aren’t human and that we are perfect because we’re not. We can live real lives, admit our struggles, show our brokenness and still live with integrity. It’s by our love that they will know we are His disciples, not by our pretending to be perfect.
I love the book of Psalms because David, who was a man after God’s own heart, is vulnerable enough to share and show his true self. He was a man of doubts, sins, fears, and worries. I think that’s why so many of us soak up the Psalms and why they resonate with us. David was a man of integrity and didn’t pretend to be anyone other than who he was. He was honest in his prayers and his praise. He was the same man in public and in private.
In Psalm 101:2, he vowed to God, “I will lead a life of integrity in my own home” (NLT). He understood the importance of integrity and knew that it started at home when no one was looking. Each of us can learn from his example. Being a person after God’s own heart isn’t about being perfect. It’s about having integrity, being able to admit it when we’ve sinned, and following after God matter what. If we have integrity at home, it’ll bleed into all the other areas of our lives.
As a person who spends a lot of time driving, I’m forced to make a lot of fast decisions. When people suddenly brake, I have to decide to slam on mine or change lanes. I also have another fast decision to make. Do I bless them or curse them? I would love to say that I hand out more blessing than cursing in traffic. The truth is, in those moments, we default to calling the other person a name, yelling at them, gesturing at them, and or using our vehicle to inform them we don’t like their driving.
In the book of Ruth, Boaz had to make a quick decision. He knew who Ruth was and what she had done for Naomi, so he was very kind to her. On one certain night, Naomi told Ruth, “Now do as I tell you—take a bath and put on perfume and dress in your nicest clothes. Then go to the threshing floor, but don’t let Boaz see you until he has finished eating and drinking. Be sure to notice where he lies down; then go and uncover his feet and lie down there. He will tell you what to do” (Ruth 3:3-4 NLT).
Imagine Boaz sleeping after a hard day’s work and then being woken up by someone pulling the covers off his feet. More than that, he notices it’s a woman. His thoughts may have been, “What if someone sees me laying with a woman?” They could have been, “How dare a servant take my covers!” Whatever they were, when he made a quick decision, it was to bless and not to curse. He told Ruth, “The LORD bless you, my daughter!” Boaz exclaimed. “You are showing even more family loyalty now than you did before, for you have not gone after a younger man, whether rich or poor.”
Boaz not only blessed her, he admitted that there was another family member who was a closer relative to her than he was. Boaz was willing to give up Ruth because it was the right thing to do. He acted with integrity and with a heart that blessed before it cursed. Each of us should adopt that kind of heart. As followers of Christ, we should be about blessing instead of cursing, giving instead of receiving, loving instead of judging, and building instead of tearing down. Our light shines brightest when it blesses. Proverbs 11:25 says, “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped” (MSG).
I once walked with a man of integrity. Immediately my own shortcomings were brought to light as I watched him do what was right no matter the cost. The road he walked wasn’t easy. There were few companions who had the courage to walk that path. His faith had been tested in the fire before, and it was as hard as a diamond. As I looked at him, I noticed he didn’t look to the left or to the right. He kept his eyes ahead. He knew where he was going and nothing would entice him from his course.
There were those who came alongside and walked for a while like he did. Some left sooner than others. When you walk with a man of integrity, you have a choice to make. You can change to have more integrity, or you can walk away. When we are in the light, all our flaws are exposed. We can choose to work on our flaws while in the light, or we can turn the light off, pretending the flaws are not there. Either way, when you have been exposed, you know the truth inside.
Because of this, there are many who attack those with integrity. When faced with their own reality, they try to get that person to change. When they realize they can’t make them compromise their integrity, they abandon them and try to discredit them. In the end, I’ve learned that God stands with those who have integrity and He detests those who don’t have it. If that’s how God feels, then I should feel that way too.
Proverbs 10:29 says, “The way of the LORD is a stronghold to those with integrity, but it destroys the wicked” (NLT). In my walk with this man of integrity, I’ve found that strength comes from God, not the opinions of others. When others seek to destroy, those with integrity keep walking to the Lord. They do not waiver. They do not change. They may be beaten, they may be scared, but that’s the price of integrity in a world full of houses built on sand.
Though our paths have split, I learned to be a better person. I learned that it hurts quite often to have integrity. Maybe that’s why so few choose to have it. I also learned that if you remain a man of integrity, the Lord will come to your defense and stand with you while others throw stones. I’ve learned that it is not man’s opinion of me that matters, it’s God’s. I will find my strength in Him while others attack. I will not be moved. I will not look to the side. I’ll keep my eyes on the One who lights my path.