Integrity Intact

From the balcony, it was as though the whole kingdom could be seen. The scenery was not only a proclamation of what God had done for the people, but it also laid testament to the character of the man.

Every sermon I’ve ever heard on David has taught me that he was a “man of integrity” – “a man after God’s own heart.” But this day, peering out with parched lips and pinched brows, David’s countenance resembled a madman. Through his adulterous acts, treacherous lies, and the inevitable taking of another’s life, David’s own life speaks truth to what it ACTUALLY means…

To be a man of integrity.

Every now and then you’ll hear a preacher give a message on the topic of integrity. Since we are men and women called to have integrity, this should come by no surprise. Oftentimes, you hear the preacher say that the word stems from “integer” – that having integrity ultimately means to “be whole.” And racing from the pace of general to specific, the preacher proceeds and concedes to shed more light on what he thinks “integrity” is.

At this moment I start wondering in my head what integrity really is. The preacher goes on to describe integrity synonymously with what I would call: sinlessness, divinity, Christ-likeness. By the preacher’s appeal, we are reaching for something that we say can be attained in this lifetime, but by definition can’t. So either we have a wrong idea about our human nature and sin, or we have a wrong idea about integrity. So here is my thought:

Maybe integrity is less about “if” you sin and more about “when” you sin.

I know a lot of people who I would say are persons of integrity. What makes them a person of integrity; what makes them so great, isn’t the fact that they’re perfect. What makes them a person of integrity is the way in which they react when they fail, when they fall, when they sin.

King David, after accomplishing his task and fulfilling his cover-up, was approached by the prophet Nathan. When the prophet brought to light that which David had dug so deep… the true integrity of the king is seen. David fasted and prayed and repented for what he did. You see the seriousness in which David attacked his sin. Where most kings could’ve beheaded the “arrogant” prophet, David knew that the prophet was truly sent from God to bring order to his chaotic life. David was a man of integrity.

Live to be a man or woman of integrity. Strive for holiness, but when you fail, seek repentance. Learn to live a life of David – not of one who commits atrocities, but as one who changes the world with their attitude and repentance. Keep integrity intact.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me.” –Psalm 51:10