“And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules,” 1 Kings 9:4
Integrity is consistently doing what is right no matter what the circumstances
In our passage Solomon was exhorted by God to walk with “ with integrity of heart and uprightness.” Integrity is closely associated with uprightness. The root of this word in the Hebrew is from the Hebrew word for straight. Given these words together God is calling on Solomon to walk a complete straight line. There is no turning to the left or to the right. Our Savior himself says that the one who looks back is not fit for the plow. Yet, when we turn to look back does not our plow curve to the left or to the right? Our line is no longer straight.
Walking in a complete straight line means not wavering when trials come our way. However the terrain may move, be it up a steep incline, down a deep ravine, across lakes and rivers, continuously walking in that straight line.
Christian, we could find ourselves in situations when it is easier to give in to the world. We are swayed on every side. We are tempted daily to walk away from the path of Christ and his righteousness. When someone wrongs us do we fight fire with fire, tit for tat? Or do we do what Christ says, to love our neighbors and our enemies. We are called to pray for them.
What of the flood of advertisements, consumerism, materialism. Do we fall into the temptation of lusting and coveting what we see? Or do we follow what Paul said, that godliness with contentment is great gain. Paul tells the slave to be content in their slavery. But, he also says if they could obtain freedom to do so. Therefore, I am not condemning the acquisition of goods and services. I am condemning the coveting, lusting, envious nature that the advertisers want us to live it. If you absolutely have to have the next dazzling gadget at the expense of your family, friends, church, and even your sanity you have made an idol of that object.
We do what is right even in the face of all that is wrong. For there is no temptation that is uncommon. All temptations are common to all men. But, Christ has made a way of escape! When Paul said godliness with contentment is great gain, he also told us the secret to that contentment. That is Jesus Christ. All that Christ has done will empower us to not only escape temptation but to ensure our contentment. Our Faith in Christ is the foundation in which these realities are found.
Unbeliever, look to your own self. Do you believe you do good in the face of evil? Did you know that your sin clouds your idea of what is good and evil? Look to Christ. See his integrity. Jesus lived a sinless life yet became your sin on the cross. When he died, your sin died too. Let loose of yourself your dead sins and embrace Jesus Christ with your whole trust. He will save you.