Summary: A short series looking at how to become people of integrity
The Process to Integrity
August 19, 2018
This past week I read about a candidate for the Florida Legislature who said she had a college degree that she didn't complete. Se said he plans to stay in the race and “will lead by example from now on.”
She actually posted a picture of herself with what looked like a Miami University diploma after being accused of lying about her degree. The university sent a statement saying she attended the school, but never graduated.
She issued an apology on Facebookshe added, “It was not my intent to deceive or mislead anyone.” If that was not her intent, then what was it. And I’m glad she’s decided she will NOW lead by example. www.yahoo.com/news/fake-diploma-florida-candidate-apologizes-stays-race-223036815.html
Ugh! We are talking about integrity. It’s a tough word. It’s equally tough to live by. We are in our final week talking about what it means to have integrity. The purpose of this series has been to inspire each of us to live a life in which we increase integrity.
The word integrity means "the state of being whole or undivided." So we have been considering ways that we can increase our integrity levels in every area of life — not just the ones that come to us most naturally, not just the ones that are most visible or most convenient.
When we live be integrity the challenge becomes demonstrating integrity iin every area of our lives. It’s not just the way we pay our bills, or do our jobs, it’s not just the things we do when nobody is looking, it’s the way we talk to people, keeping our promises and commitments, growing in our spiritual life, the programs we watch, the music we listen to, the ways we speak . . . and that list goes on and on.
The simple truth is that every one here today has room for improvement in at least some of these areas, if not all of them.
Biblical integrity begins with the willingness to challenge yourself in every area, across the board.
Last week we focused on Psalm 119:1-8, and one of the key verses was ~
2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, – Psalm 119:2
That’s so important for us, because we are blessed when we keep God’s commands are hold to His witness in the world, and when we seek after God with our WHOLE heart! That’s so vital for us. Today, we’re looking at another section of Psalm 119, verses 33-40.
The road to integrity, the path to growing in who God has called us to be means we have to constantly be evaluating ourselves . . . and then we make the necessary adjustments so that we can improve in our nature. The point to integrity is that you cannot do it on your own. We need the Holy Spirit to help us. On our own, we will ultimately not succeed.
As hard as it might seem to be, the good news is the fact that God has promised to conform us into the image of his Son — to help us become more and more like Jesus — if, and that’s a big if, if we yield ourselves to Him every day.
What I love about this section of Psalm 119, is that the psalmist is asking God for help! He’s petitioning God with requests. Too often we go at life on our own, and when we’re in trouble, then we turn to God and ask for help!
So, with that in mind, I want to look at what the psalmist is asking for and how we can do the same in our lives. In the first 2 verses the psalmist prays ~
33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.
The psalmist is praying for understanding and wisdom. You see, it’s one thing to have knowledge, but it’s another to have wisdom and understanding. We all know some people who seem to have amazing knowledge, but they have no clue how to apply it to life. That’s where wisdom and understanding come in.
Have you ever looked up the strange laws that are in some states? Some really don’t make any sense. They were made years ago, but have never been changed and are still actual laws.
For example, in Alaska it’s illegal to wake up a bear to take its picture. But understand, it’s not against the law to take the picture of the bear while he's sleeping, just don't wake him up.
In Logan County, Colorado, it is against the law for a husband to kiss his wife while she is sleeping. But it is OK to take her picture while she’s sleeping, but you can't kiss her.