Summary: This is part of the sermon series on a Christian's Heart. In this sermon we explore a heart that's filled with integrity including integrity being an inside job, it's about the small things and not circumstances, and finally it has both costs and benefits
A Christian’s Heart
“An Integrity Filled Heart”
When talking about the qualities that are necessary for a Christian heart, integrity is one quality that cannot be ignored. The reason is because that’s the type of heart God desires and uses.
Of King David it says, “And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.” (Psalm 78:72 NIV)
It was with such an integrious heart that God commended David saying that He was a man after His own heart, Acts 13:22.
If David had a heart after God’s heart, and if David’s heart was integrious, therefore it can be concluded that integrity is an integral part of God’s own heart, in other words, integrity is one of God’s qualities.
This is seen in something Moses said about God’s character.
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19 NKJV)
And so a Christian’s heart needs to be an integrious heart because an integrious heart, a heart filled with integrity is part of God’s own heart.
I think it’s safe to say that integrity is needed just as much today as it’s ever been. Not only are we a society drowning in lies, but we are living in a world that is living more by the lie than by the truth, and the sad part is that most people don’t even think it’s that big a deal
But it is a big deal and the Bible calls it sin. In fact it’s such a big deal to God in how it hurts our relationship with Him and others that He makes it one of the big ten, the ninth to be exact.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16 NKJV)
So what is integrity? Integrity is about being honest, fair, and a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong. It’s adhering to moral and ethical principles, and goes directly to a person’s character, that is, who they truly are.
Integrity is not so much about what we do as it is about who we are. It means we live according to what we say and believe in.
Integrity is about who we are on the inside more than what we portray to others. It’s doing right when no one else is looking, and who we are in the dark more than what we do in the light.
Integrity is best defined by how it’s fleshed out in our lives.
• It’s about keeping our word even when it hurts.
• It’s about being honest in all our dealings.
• It’s practicing morality in both our bodies and in our minds.
• It’s about admitting mistakes and doing what’s necessary to make them right.
Integrity of heart, therefore, is something that God is searching for in His people.
King David said that it’s only with an integrious heart that we can dwell in God’s presence. So if you want to dwell in God’s presence you have to have integrity.
“Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart.”(Psalm 15:1-2 NKJV)
In fact, God is pleased when we do walk with integrity in our hearts. In Proverbs 11:20 the Lord says that while He detests people with crooked and twisted hearts, He does delight, however, in those with integrity.
Job was such a man with a heart filled with integrity. Listen to what Job said.
“As long as my breath is in me … my lips will not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit … Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go; my heart shall not reproach me as long as I live.” (Job 27:3-6 NKJV)
In fact, not only is God pleased with such an integrious heart, but He also brags on it. When Satan came before God’s throne the Lord said,
“Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” (Job 1:8 NKJV)
And so God looks for integrity and it’s an integrious heart that He desires for His leaders to have. As we talked about earlier, it’s what distinguished the leadership of King David.
“And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.” (Psalm 78:72 NIV)
While an integrious heart is manifested in our lives, it’s really an inside job.
Integrity Is An Inside Job
Jesus in speaking about the hypocrisy of the religious leaders said,