Proverbs 16:13 (Berean Study Bible)
13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings, And they love him who speaks what is right.
Telling the truth: it’s hard.
It doesn’t matter how old we are, how wise we are, or how frivolous our lies may seem. So much of life is easier with a little bit of lying. Right?
We use lies to appease our bosses, our friends, our parents, and even our partners. “Sure, I walked the dog,” we say, even when we never even bothered. “I’ll take care of those chores tomorrow,” we remark, knowing full well that we intend to do no such thing. “Of course I’ll take care of my quiet time, just later on today,” we promise, with the full knowledge that it will likely never happen. Lies are simple. Lies are convenient. Lies make us feel like we can handle things on our own, without the intervening work of Christ.
Living a truthful life apart from falsehoods is called living with integrity. It requires a solid adherence to the teachings of God, and a fundamental promise to continue living in righteousness -- even when no one else is looking.
See, integrity requires us to speak what is right under all circumstances. There is no such thing as a weak or white lie under the teaching of Christ. Instead, there are only truths and falsehoods, or lies and non lies.
We must continuously learn and practice integrity, even when it is not convenient.
Speaking what is right requires actions and words to be put together. Of course, it is easy to say “I will not steal that cookie,” but it is much harder to prevent yourself from taking the sugary treat when no eyes are watching. This idea goes even deeper, right down to the subjects that make our daily walks increasingly difficult. Saying “I’ll take care of quiet time” and choosing not to is still lying, and still a lack of integrity. In certain definitions, this is known as hypocrisy.
According to Stephen Grunlan, the senior pastor of Grace Fellowship in Overland Park, Kansas: “integrity involves practicing what we preach, being consistent and dependable, doing what we say we will do, and living in such a way that others will trust us.” Let’s break this down a bit:
Practice What We Preach: Let no hypocrisy slip into your life. Avoid a “do as I say and not as I do” mentality.
Being Consistent And Dependable: If you say you think, believe, or know something, say so! Do not be afraid to stick to your convictions. Be sure to follow through every time. Christ is the perfect model of dependability in the Bible. What He said was always true, no matter how difficult it was to hear.
Doing What We Say We Will Do: No one likes a big talker that never follows through. Let your promises be promises, and not just suggestions. This is one of the areas where having an accountability partner truly helps. Iron sharpens iron, after all!
Living So Others Will Trust Us: Give no man or woman a reason to distrust you.
Show the light and righteousness of God through your personal integrity, shining brightly through your words, actions, and convictions. Speak what is right so that everyone knows you are a child of light!
In what ways have you walked in integrity this week? In what ways have you failed to do so? How could you encourage yourself and others to continue living in such a way that others will trust us? Will this allow you to grow closer to God? Remember that it is okay to acknowledge your human shortcomings. God expects you to fail! That’s why He is never far away. Rely on Him for a life of integrity today!
Psalm 101:5 (New English Standard Version)
5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
Exodus 23:1 (Berean Study Bible)
1 You shall not spread a false report. Do not join the wicked by being a malicious witness.