Saturday, April 28, 2012


“I will pay attention to the way of integrity.  When will You come to me?  I will live with a heart of integrity in my house.”  (Psalm 101:2 HCSB)

Eight times, in a Psalm comprised of only eight verses, David uses the words, “I will.”  There are additional phrases that express similar commitment. David is firmly resolved to be a man of integrity in each dimension of his life.  Integrity comes from the root word integer.  Integers are whole numbers.  To be a person of integrity means we are a man or woman who is whole—wholly committed, all in, not one way in a certain situation and a different way in another.  There is a consistency about us.  We are people of conviction who practice what we preach and behave according to what we say we believe.

Now, we know that human determination is not enough.  We have yet within even the best of us the pull of sin that drags us down.  What we must have is a heavenly dynamic at work within us—a yielding to the power of the Holy Spirit.  This grace is available.

But, God will not “zap” you and turn you into something akin to an archangel apart from your willingness to trust and obey Him.  We are not robots, programmed to do what God wants.  There is the connection between our resolve and God’s resource that enables us to live in righteousness.

David is resolved to be a man of integrity in his worship.

"I will sing of faithful love and justice; I will sing praise to You, Lord.” (v.1)

Psalm 101 begins with a heart focused on God in praise.  This should not surprise us, for this is our foremost duty—to love God with the whole heart.  Integrity—wholeness—we are devoted to God with every fiber of our being.  Our hearts are one with His; they beat in tandem.  Worship isn’t just for an hour on Sunday—and that if we don’t have something better to do!  It is a lifestyle—a day to day, even moment to moment, resolve to praise the living God.

David is resolved to be a man of integrity in his family.

“I will pay attention to the way of integrity. When will You come to me? I will live with a heart of integrity in my house.”  (v.2)

Our reputation is what the public thinks we are; our character is what our family knows we are.  What happens behind the closed doors of our house is a more accurate indicator of our integrity than our persona before the world.  It means being faithful to our marriage vows.  Integrity is a wife who submits to her husband’s leadership.  It means a husband who loves his wife as Christ loves the church.  It means parents who demonstrate faithfulness to the children, and direct them in truth and discipline them in love.

David is resolved to be a man of integrity in his activity.

“I will not set anything worthless before my eyes.  I hate the practice of transgression; it will not cling to me.” (v.3)

The eye is the window of the soul.  Through those portals images enter that take up residence in our thoughts.  A man of integrity has posted a sentry to shut out images that will arouse impurity and envy.  As a child, I learned a song that said, “Be careful little eyes, what you see.”  The lure of lustful images on TV, movies, magazines and so powerfully, on the internet, has destroyed many men.  Social networking and soap operas have drawn away many women.  The slick advertisement is meant to arouse covetousness in us for the material.  We can bow to the altar of Mammon all week and then try to come to God’s altar on Sunday—that’s not integrity!  When we sow a thought, we reap an action.  If we hate the fruit of the sinful deed, we must not sow the seed of sinful thoughts.

David is resolved to be a man of integrity in his relationships.

“A devious heart will be far from me; I will not be involved with evil.  I will destroy anyone who secretly slanders his neighbor; I cannot tolerate anyone with haughty eyes or an arrogant heart.  My eyes [favor] the faithful of the land so that they may sit down with me.  The one who follows the way of integrity may serve me.  No one who acts deceitfully will live in my palace; no one who tells lies will remain in my presence.” (v.4-7)

It is very difficult to be a man or woman of integrity if you are intimate with those who are not.  Readily, we recognize that we cannot get away from all evil people—for they are everywhere!  That would require heaven and this is not it!  In fact, we must do as Jesus did and be a friend to sinners in view of winning them.  It is hard to find a lost lamb and claim them for Christ if you don’t search for them.  True Biblical separation isn’t isolation.  But, we must be careful about where we seek counsel, whom we make a heart connection with and those we spend much time with.  Such confidants and close friends need to share our heart for God, if we are to have a heart that is shared with them.  That is integrity.

David is resolved to be a man of integrity in his duty.

“Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the land, eliminating all evildoers from the Lord's city.” (v.8)

These words may seem terribly harsh to us.  They are.  But, we must remember that David had a duty to perform.  He was the King.  His responsibility was to promote righteousness which involved punishing wickedness.  Justice was to be blind.  If someone was guilty, they must pay the penalty.  This was for the welfare of society.  David would never be accused of coddling criminals.  We would have to agree that the crime rate in Israel would have been very low during David’s reign!  Whatever my duty, I will be faithful to discharge it to the best of my ability if I am a person of integrity—whether I am a pastor, a police officer, a politician, a butcher, a baker, a banker, a teacher, a trucker, a tailor—fill in the blank.  Too many leave their Christianity at the church house on Sunday and follow the world’s ways during the week!  That is the opposite of integrity.

In the little country church I first served, we loved to sing this hymn called, “I Am Resolved”:

I am resolved no longer to linger,
Charmed by the world’s delight,
Things that are higher, things that are nobler,
These have allured my sight.

I will hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free;
Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.
I will hasten, hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free;
Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.

I am resolved to go to the Savior,
Leaving my sin and strife;
He is the true One, He is the just One,
He hath the words of life.


I am resolved to follow the Savior,
Faithful and true each day;
Heed what He sayeth, do what He willeth,
He is the living Way.


I am resolved to enter the kingdom
Leaving the paths of sin;
Friends may oppose me, foes may beset me,
Still will I enter in.


I am resolved, and who will go with me?
Come, friends, without delay,
Taught by the Bible, led by the Spirit,
We’ll walk the heav’nly way.


You don’t hear that sung much any more.  You see even less of it fleshed out day to day. What a challenge this is for us!  Let us be firmly resolved to be men and women of integrity.  God will empower us by His grace, if we will seek His face.  May our heart—all of it--be His!

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