Oct10WedOctober 10, 2018
Over the past two weeks, conversations regarding Dr. Ford’s testimony and allegations against Judge Kavanaugh seem to be everywhere. After listening and processing these confirmation hearings, one of the only things that I know for certain is that if this debate were to be tried in a court of law, I would not want to be a juror tasked with discerning truth from error. What a difficult situation! However, I believe there is a great lesson that Christians can learn through this public display of allegations and anger.
The lesson begins by an awareness that the over-consumption of alcohol remains a problem in our country. How easily a drink of alcohol can become a dangerous weapon! The lesson also includes becoming more aware of the prevalence of sexual misconduct. We need to turn our ears and prayers towards those who have suffered the trauma of such abuse and our part to prevent such violence. Yet, my heart also looks towards the generations to come and prompts me to ask: Are we, as adult Christians, doing our part to raise up a generation of young men and women who desire to live lives of integrity?
In my opinion, integrity, as a character trait, is becoming less prevalent in our world. As you know, integrity is the status of a person’ character which strengthens as God-honoring values are consistently lived out - regardless of the setting or circumstances. In other words, such a person is increasingly consistent privately and publicly. I believe this topic needs to be revisited in our current cultural climate.
Psalm 101, from our Daily Scripture Reading, provides 5 essential elements for committing to integrity each day.
Verse 1 describes a person who delights in worshipping the love and justice of the living God. His love for the Lord runs so deep that he profoundly hates wickedness. Therefore, the first element for living with integrity is an abiding relationship with the Lord and profound disdain for sin. Without this relationship, spiritual integrity is simply not humanly possible. We need Him!
A second element is described in verses 3-4. Here the Psalmist makes a commitment to keep his house free from anything that is “worthless” and might lead his heart into perverse living. While at home, he makes a daily commitment to giving any unconfessed sin to the Lord (v2) and steering clear from evil (v4). Notice how a disciple’s priorities in the private arena of home profoundly shape the integrity of a person.
The third element is his aversion towards slandering speech and a proud heart (v5). Now, on this side of the cross, we know that vengeance is the Lord’s and that he will repay evil doers (Romans 12:19). But note how the Psalmist has no desire to be influenced by such deceptive living.
The forth element requires inviting spiritual mentors, those who are considered faithful, to minister directly to him. Likewise, in verse 7, he seeks to steer clear of those who may influence him towards compromising the truth.
Finally, the psalmist returns back to his home life and says, “Morning by morning, I will destroy all the wicked in the land” (v8a). On this side of the cross, such violent actions are not for us. However, the spiritual desire is good. A person of integrity wakes up and declares, “I will take no part in evil today because of my love for the Lord!”
As you listen to news reports and assess our world, listen for integrity. It’s hard to find. Therefore, we, as Christians, need to be people who are teaching and modeling integrity very intentionally for the sake of the generations to come. If we don't revisit the topic of integrity and display what it looks like, then who will?