Borrowed Truths

Integrity

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Integrity

Pride is the enemy of integrity, jealousy, envy, lust, greed, all these and more are the rival of the man of integrity. I use the word rival here, for we are in a battle, those men of God who struggle each day to remain men of integrity understand full well the statement, for it is ourselves that we battle with. “To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” (Prov. 21:3) It is what the man who follows Christ desires, to judge with righteous judgement, (John 7:24) to judge himself lest he be judged, (Matt. 7:1) and his attempts are continuous, enveloping every area of his life.

Integrity infers honesty, righteousness, and always begins in the heart, if it is not tested first within us, it will fail the test of both God and man every time. “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” (James 5:12) To put it in the strictest of terms, the man of integrity is concerned first and foremost with how the Lord God views his life, every aspect of it, he cares little to nothing of how the world accepts his actions and words, for he is following Christ, he is concerned only with Christ’s thoughts of him.

I contend here that there are no men of integrity, and never have been, who are not God fearing men, men who have given our Lord the glory for their existence, for even those who have spent their entire lives serving others with no thought whatsoever to Almighty God have nothing to give of but what is in themselves. It is said by the world that integrity is who you are when you are alone, but my friends, you are always alone if you do not know Christ, if you do not have the Holy Spirit of God within you. The companionship of others is an illusion, even in the largest gathering, you are an individual, you are alone. Our integrity then, the entirety of all our Christian traits, is on display for all to see at all times.

A man of Godly character can only be moved from his motives, from his integrity, by his own will, no other can force a change upon him in this area. If you are a born-again believer, then your decision to be who you believe you should be, or who others think you should be, has been removed from you, you are to be Christ-like, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20) All other options have been removed from you, and so when our integrity in any area of our lives is compromised, it is only done so by our choice, by our free will to do so.

Exterior influences are generally the cause of failure in this area, the world, the lost, expect from us something more, and when we begin to acquiesce to those demands, we covet those relationships we should not be a part of, pride enters into our hearts, and we start to see ourselves as more than what we truly are. We begin to esteem ourselves for gifts that we have received from the Holy Spirit, from our Lord, and start to see them as the natural outpouring of ourselves, the “good man” that we believe ourselves to be. It is a trap that many God-fearing men have fallen into over the centuries, and it is one our adversary is quite adept at employing against men who have set their face like a flint to serve Christ in integrity of heart, mind and soul.

A Godly man of integrity is a rare man to come upon, for he does not seek the limelight, he shy’s away from the crowd, he refuses to be part of the world, you will not find him unless the Lord desires to send him to you, for he is precious in the eyes of the Lord. He will not falter in his resolve, his mind is set on Christ, and every deed, every word is meant is some way to bring glory to God. He understands the word chastisement, and he rejoices when it is brought upon him, for it shows to him that he is loved of the Father, (Heb. 12:6) trials and tribulations are rejoiced in, for they bring opportunities for growth, (1 Peter 5:10) he knows that when he is tempted, he is blessed, (James 1:12) for the crown of life is his. A man of integrity is a just man, a righteous man, and he is both feared and hated by the world and Satan, he does not fear the reproaches of man, (Heb. 13:6) death is not an enemy or friend, but simply the moment when he will be in the presence of his Lord, his cares have been left at the foot of the cross, he is an adamant man, uncompromising in the truths of God, to know the mind of Christ, to be submissive to every will of the Holy Spirit, and he is just like you.

He falls, he sins, he sees himself as unworthy to the tasks that are set before him, he seeks no accolades, for he is not deserving of them, he is unprofitable in his own eyes, but he is one thing that many who profess Christ today are not, and only because of their own free will in this area, he is willing to be used by Christ in whatever way the Lord desires. There is no fear of the calling of the Lord to a man of integrity, for it is the rightful duty of a servant to obey.

You are who you are today because you have chosen to be the person that you are, others may have influenced those decisions, but of your own free will you are who you are. We are commanded to be Christ-like, we are asked by Almighty God to emulate no other than His beloved Son, and it is our honor and privilege to attempt to do so, but you cannot do it alone. The willing servant is the servant who can be used the most, trusted the most. Christ-like integrity is offered to all who have called Jesus Christ Lord, the highest calling is available to all who will but ask for it, to be conformed into the image of the Son of God. No greater desire should a man have.

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