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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Chalk It Up To: Integrity

Love and truth form a good leader; sound leadership is founded on loving integrity.
Proverbs 20:28 (MSG)

So we begin to influence our friends and family in Kingdom ways because we are intimate with our great God. The next set of chalk marks spring directly out of intimacy: integrity. What does integrity look like? No one really knows except God.

We think of integrity in terms of strong moral character, honesty, virtue, purity. But we also refer to the integrity of a building as to its being sound. The materials in a high-rise give it its integrity: the steel, the wood, the concrete. So too integrity in the human body which depends on its own set of building blocks, namely our cells. The more we learn about stem cells, the basic cells that divide into all body elements, the more we know that the best stem cells come from bone marrow.

Perhaps a bit simplistic, but here’s how I trace moral integrity: with Jesus in me, with the Holy Spirit at work in my spirit, it’s like having God in the marrow of my bones. In that state of intimacy, I can have integrity throughout, as well as know integrity within.    

Oswald Chambers (September 8th, My Utmost for His Highest) makes it clear that integrity, or holy character as he calls it, is not innocence. You have got to make the right moral choices: “God does not make us holy in the sense of character; He makes us holy in the sense of innocence, and we have to turn that innocence into holy character by a series of moral choices.”  

I must choose. I take that to mean I have to trust God in the marrow of my bones, to be so intimate with Him that I can rely on His integrity to make the right moral choices.

Most of the time, integrity and obedience to authority are synonymous and we are certain of the correct moral choice to make. At other times, listening to God takes precedence. The Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, are examples of the enormity of integrity. Their story is told in Exodus 1:15-21. In his utter dread of the sheer numbers of Hebrews, the king of Egypt told Shiphrah and Puah to kill all Hebrew boys at the time of birth. The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt told them to do; they let the boys live (Exodus 1:17). Because they feared Him, God was kind to them, giving them families of their own (1:20-21).  

It becomes clear then that I will only have integrity when I listen to God with all my heart, when I seek truth in my moments of intimacy with Him, when I make moral choices and execute them on the basis of His loving kindness. Lord, I abhor wrongdoing of all kinds; I seek Your sound moral foundation (Proverbs 16:12, MSG).

Nancy P

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