“The godly walk with integrity, blessed are their children after them.” Proverbs 20:7 (NLT)
While it may appear that those who are dishonest get ahead, the Bible says, “the LORD rewards each man for his integrity….” 1 Samuel 26:23 (NET1) Among those rewards is the blessing their children have after them. How do you want to be remembered by those you love? What do you want your sons and daughters to take from your life? The greatest inheritance we can leave is a life of integrity. This is a legacy of faith that comes from living a life of truth.
Far from a perfect life, a life of integrity simply holds nothing back from God. In the Psalms, King David resolved to walk in integrity. In Psalm 26:11, he said, “But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me.”
As a result, in Psalm 41:12 he wrote: “You have upheld me because of my integrity and set me in Your presence forever.” If you’re familiar with David’s life you know he was far from perfect. Yet, when he failed, instead of turning away from God and trying to hide his sin, he turned to God in brokenness with open confession and turned from his sin.
Another benefit of integrity is security. In Proverbs 10:9 the Bible says, “He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out.” When you live a life of integrity you can rest secure. You don’t have to worry about being “found out.” There are no hidden sins you’re lying to cover up. Your life is an open book. You’re transparent and honest. You tell the truth. You keep your promises and people trust your word. When you fail, you admit it. You take responsibility.
God promises blessing to those who live a life of integrity. In Psalm 119:1, the Bible says, “Blessed are those whose lives have integrity, those who follow the teachings of the LORD.” According to this verse, to live a life of integrity means aligning my life as closely with God’s Word as I know how. His Word, and not my feelings, becomes the measure of truth. What He says and what He thinks matters more than what others think. It’s trusting that God loves me, and His commands are for my good.
Living a life of integrity is a challenge in our culture. It was no different in the Roman world in which Paul lived. His prayer for the church in Thessalonica reveals the power to live with integrity today:
“May the God of peace make you holy through and through. May you be kept in soul and mind and body in spotless integrity until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is utterly faithful and He will finish what He has set out to do.”
1 Thessalonians 5:23 (Phillips NT)