Integrity is moral soundness. I have a steel girder in my office that I look at often. It has a slight imperfection—like someone bumped their head on it—but the massive girder is solid and has been standing for over 25 years.
Spiritual and moral integrity does not equal perfection. That would be unattainable in this life. It means there are no areas which will cause a collapse.
Abiding with God
King David asked the question, “O LORD, who may abide in Your tent?” (Psalm 15:1 NASB). To abide means to “remain in a stable or fixed position.” Jesus would later tell us that the key to fruitfulness is such abiding (John 15).
And here was God’s answer to David’s question:
“He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness” (Psalm 15:2).
He goes on to describe this moral and spiritual soundness in Psalm 15. Integrity makes a man …
- TRUTHFUL: He speaks truth in his heart.
- FORGIVING: He does not slander or do evil to his neighbor or take up a reproach against his friend. He does not seek revenge or attempt to justify himself.
- DISCERNING: He despises a reprobate and honors those who fear the Lord.
- FAITHFUL: He swears to his own hurt and does not change. He is a man of his word.
- UNSELFISH: He is financially faithful and does not put out his money at interest or take bribes. He has died to personal gain, particularly at others’ expense.
Minding the Details
Integrity is gained by attention to detail … by listening to the Lord daily at His gates and responding to what He says.
A man gains integrity by inspecting the interior and exterior structure of his heart and making sure it is sound, day after day after day. This is not morbid introspection, but simply walking with Christ daily and letting Him disciple you.
It is aided in its development by transparent honesty. A man who desires integrity will quickly admit his faults and have nothing to hide from trusted friends. He is willing to be accountable, to admit when he fails, and to repent.
The Stability of Integrity
“He who does these things will never be shaken,” David said (v. 5).
I have often told my sons that a man who lacks integrity will always be found out. He will always fall. Always. It just takes the right pressure to expose his fatal weakness and his unwillingness to repent in the closets of his life.
Integrity is not perfection; it is the soundness that helps a man finish well as a testimony to the faithfulness of the God he follows. Jesus Christ can make you a man of integrity, if you will draw near—and stay near—to Him.