“I know, my God, that You test the heart and are pleased with integrity….” 1 Chronicles 29:17 (NIV)
When you commit to live a life of integrity, you can be certain your integrity will be tested. It’s only when we are tested that we know the value of what we profess. Integrity is saying what I am going to do and doing what I said. It’s keeping my promise even when it hurts. The Scripture says,
“The Lord hates liars, but is pleased with those who keep their word.” Proverbs 12:22 (GN)
The trouble with lying is that it becomes habitual. One lie leads to another. We begin to lie to cover up a lie. The trap just gets deeper and harder to get out. We can even deceive ourselves into believing our own lies. Relationships suffer. Truth and trust go together. When I fail to be honest, I’m chipping away at the trust in my relationships.
What do you do when your integrity is being tested and you’re tempted to shade the truth? The Bible offers three instructions to follow to avoid a lie:
- Open up and face the truth.
Writing to fellow Christ followers, the Apostle Paul said, “Let our lives lovingly express the truth in all things speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly.” Ephesians 4:15 (Amp)
- Stand for the truth.
Most of the time we know the truth. The question is will we stand for the truth we know? In 2 Corinthians 13:8 the Bible says, “Our responsibility is never to oppose the truth, but to stand for the truth at all times.”
- Admit the truth.
Sometimes, the truth hurts. Even when the truth hurts we can speak the truth in love. It’s really unloving to lie just to avoid the pain. When we admit the truth, God has opportunity to work on our behalf. The Psalmist said the kind of worshipers that God seeks are those who admit the truth. In Psalm 15:4, the Bible describes them as those who keep their promises even when it hurts. Are you a promise keeper? Keeping our promises demonstrates integrity and creates trust. It strengthens relationships.
When we face the truth, stand for the truth and admit the truth, we are building a life of integrity. In what areas of your life is truth being compromised? How is your integrity being tested? What steps can you take today to avoid the trap of a lie? How can you speak the truth in love? Are there any promises you’ve made that you need to act upon today? Begin with a fresh commitment to Christ and, through His Spirit, take the next step.