Character…

Proverbs 2:7-10 ESV
7 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
8 guarding the paths of justice
and watching over the way of his saints.
9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and equity, every good path;
10 for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
Proverbs 10:9 ESV
9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
Psalms 25:21 ESV
21 May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.
1 Peter 3:13-15
13Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
Proverbs 28:6
6 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
Titus 2:6-8
Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

Integrity

Integrity is a character quality of someone who has sound moral judgment. They don’t compromise truth. They deal honestly with others. Integrity can only be achieved by listening to the Holy Spirit. Integrity is something that you prove you have during difficult situations. It is being able to make the right decision even though it may cost you something. If you know in your heart that you made the right decision, you don’t have to worry about getting caught or exposed. Walking with integrity is one of the best ways to prove that you are become more mature in your walk with Jesus.
Psalms 15: 1-4
1 O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
2 He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
3 who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
4 in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
but who honors those who fear the Lord;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;

Personal Integrity

In 1994 at the National Youth Workers Convention held in San Francisco, I sat under the teachings of a man who had lost his integrity. That man was Richard Dortch.

From the pulpit that day, Dortch recounted the story of years of spotless ministry that all went bad over a three-year period when his public persona failed to match his private one. Dortch, now free from serving his prison term, was traveling the country making amends and preaching the message of personal integrity.

As we close this reading plan, I feel impressed to share a few of the things Richard Dortch said. The first is that massive personal failure does not come overnight. Rather, it is earned through a slow and progressive departure from what you know as truth.

Next he said, “The best metaphor for integrity is glass. Glass is solid in structure, but clear. If one looks at glass, it can be seen through. Is your life able to be seen through?”

If you are currently in a place where the windowpane of your life is not clear, but rather murky and covered in haze, the place to start is with prayer. Pray not only for repentance, but that God would give you the courage to regain your integrity no matter what the cost. Only in this way, after being pressed in the vat of God’s truth and integrity, will the life you live be truly labeled clean.

INTEGRITY

It’s self-evident that a hypocrite is unqualified to guide others toward attaining higher character. No one respects someone who talks a good game but fails to play by the rules. What a leader does will have a greater impact on those he or she wishes to lead than what the leader says. A person may forget ninety percent of what a leader says, but he or she will never forget how the leader lives.

Bill Hendricks encountered an illustration of this principle during the days of the flourishing real estate market of the 1980s. He met a developer who claimed to have woven what he called “Biblical principles of business” into his deals. But when the market went south, he skipped town and left his investors to pick up the pieces—and the debts.

Another of Bill’s friends stands in sharp contrast to the first. He too was a land developer. He too talked of integrating Biblical principles into his business. And when the market crashed, so did his empire. But unlike the man who ran away, this land developer, as a matter of conscience, worked out a plan to pay back his investors.*

Which of these two would you rather follow in terms of integrity? There is simply no substitute for a man or woman of consistent Christlike character.

That doesn’t imply that any of us will be perfect. In fact, the New Testament doesn’t call for perfect leaders; it calls for those who are models of progress in their faith. Paul instructed Timothy to be diligent in following godly teachings. “Give yourself wholly to them,” he wrote, “so that everyone may see your progress” (1 Timothy 4:15). That’s sound advice for us today, as well.

1 Timothy 4:15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.