Summary: A quick series looking at what it means to have integrity in life
A Person of Integrity
August 5, 2018
For the next few weeks we are going to be looking at a couple of Psalms to see what they have to say about integrity! Integrity is a difficult word, because to so many people it has different meanings, as we’re about to see. Ultimately, we would all like to be called people of integrity. In fact, people will remember us for our integrity more than our accomplishments. They’ll forget about your sports, music and other accomplishments.
But if you are a person of integrity . . . they will never forget you.
The word integrity is never found in the NT. But it is found about 25 times in the OT. The same word is used over and over again in Hebrew. The word integrity in Hebrew means ~ completeness; and most often - - moral innocence.
The English dictionary defines integrity as ~ the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished; unimpaired, or perfect condition.
That gives us a basis for what we want to look at today. Of course integrity is rather subjective. We often come up with our own definition.
When other people hear the word, they pat themselves on the back with a sense of smug self-satisfaction. "Yes, I have integrity. Everyone knows it."
For example, you may interview someone for a job, and they may not pass your integrity test. It could be because of references, or the interview process. Yet, if others were to look at you, you may not pass their integrity test. Integrity is usually defined by our unique set of strengths, not by our unique set of weaknesses. That’s important to remember. It’s all about our perception.
That's why we have to be careful with how we use the word integrity. Everyone falls short on the integrity test in some areas.
If you were to grade yourself in some areas - - how would you do?
• Telling the truth
• My family life.
• Keeping your word. Doing what you said you would do.
• Being prompt and on time.
• Managing your money. Paying your bills, spending responsibly.
• Giving your company an honest day's work.
• Sharing credit. Giving people proper credit for what they do.
• What web sites are you looking at? What are you watching on TV?
• What about your vocabulary? What about gossip? Swearing?
• Generosity. Giving in church and sharing your blessings with others.
• Helping others.
• Managing emotions - Anger, envy, pride, bitterness, arrogance, patience
• Treating people with dignity
• Do you pray? Do you read the Bible?
We could add more, but you get the point, we grade others and ourselves on a number of different scales.
Understand that integrity involves every area of your life, not just the areas you're good at. And no matter where you’re at on the integrity spectrum, you can get better. It's not too late to make some changes.
I want us to look at Psalm 112. I’m going to read it, then we’ll break it down ~
1 Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments!
2 His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.
4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice.
6 For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever.
7 He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
8 His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
9 He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor.
10 The wicked man sees it and is angry; he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
the desire of the wicked will perish! — Psalm 112
So, where do we start? The Psalmist starts it off in verse 1. That’s a huge focus. The Psalmist wrote ~
1 Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments!
We read a number of times in the Bible that we are to fear the Lord. But we need to understand what this means. To fear the Lord - is not to be afraid like the Lord is going to send a giant lightening bolt and zap you. The point of fearing the Lord is ~
to have reverence, awe and a godly fear.
Integrity begins with proclaiming you are not God. It’s looking at God and having a deep, deep respect for God. It’s knowing that the world does not revolve around you. It’s admitting that you need God.