1 Chronicles 9:4 “And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:”
INTEG’RITY, noun [Latin integritas, from integer.]
The entire, unimpaired state of any thing, particularly of the mind; moral soundness or purity; incorruptness; uprightness; honesty. integrity comprehends the whole moral character, but has a special reference to uprightness in mutual dealings, transfers of property, and agencies for others.
It is one thing to fail. It is wholly another to have it known throughout history. The lives of those in bible times had their lives recorded for us by God for a reason. David was known far longer and with greater affection than his predecessor, Saul. David was known as a ‘man after God’s own heart’.
Act 13:22 “And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.”
In the text I read today for my devotion, I was impressed again with the relationship God had with David. You and I would have written him off after his moral failure and subsequent murder of Uriah. So much so, we may have called for him to be stoned according to the law.
Often, when reading through the Psalms, we see David’s heart revealed. He struggled with loneliness, depression, oppression and failure. He carried such passion for causes and people. None more evident that his passion for God and for making right decisions.
From the killing of the bear and the lion while keeping the sheepfold to defending all of Israel on the battlefield against the giant, Goliath. From the respect he gave to the office Saul held, to the dealings with those who tried to ride his coat tails into prominence, David was known and seen by God as a man that had integrity of heart and walked uprightly.
I began today with the definition of integrity. The apparent contradiction of God saying David had ‘integrity of heart’ and the evidence of adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband would suggest otherwise. Webster said: “unimpaired state of anything” and “moral soundness or purity” and “incorruptness; uprightness; honesty“.
We have historical evidence of David’s life that he didn’t always live up to that definition. Yet, God said: “…as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness”. Does God have his ‘favorites’? Is He prejudice? We would ask ourselves; “Am I His favorite?” or “Am I in or out with God?”
The answer we need to look at and what I have found to be true is that even as Samuel was looking for the man God wanted to anoint king to succeed Saul; He said:
1 Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
Having integrity of heart will allow you to sleep at night. Having integrity of heart will allow your relationships to be true, honest, and genuine. Having integrity of heart opens a connection with God to a relationship that goes far deeper than any one church service or experience can give a person.
The cogent question to ask ourselves is: “Am I a man or woman of integrity?” and if not, why not? Once we establish where we stand now, as long as you and I have breath in our body, we CAN change – with God’s help.
Do we deal deceitfully with others? Do we lie? Start with honesty – first with youself, then with God. Commit to being consistent in those, then add those closest to us. Once we change how we deal with God and others, look at the choices we make.
Could I invite anyone and everyone into my life at any point and at any time and have them see a person living with integrity?
Not perfect. David never was. When we strive to live honestly and with integrity, others will be willing to forgive the indiscretions and sins we commit.
Think of it – if we were to be men and women of integrity, what would the devil have to accuse us?