“To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.”
No one wants to suffer the shame and loss of a personal moral failure. Trust me, I’ve been there. In last week’s post, Integrity: Why Our Simple, Every Day Choices Matter I discussed why it is essential to ensure that every decision we make, even the seemingly small ones are virtuous. As I reflected further on the concept of integrity this past week, it occurred to me that most people want to live morally upright lives. For Christians, Matthew 5:14 says, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” Clearly, when we fail from a moral standpoint, we essentially shut our light off and take away glory due to God. And yet, with so much at stake, most of us will struggle at some point to make the right moral decision. Why is this? More so, how can we ensure that we live morally sound lives and never undergo the shame and loss of a moral failure and hurt not only our reputation, but God’s?
Let me suggest 3 keys to living with integrity day in and day out.
1. The Right Foundation.
As Christians it is essential that the foundation for our moral decision-making is always the whole truth of the Bible, the character of God, and the example of Jesus. We need to be mindful that every decision we make is grounded on this bedrock. When we drift from this foundation and begin to use anything else (i.e. feelings, cultural norms, etc.) as the basis for our decision making we will surely fail. What is your foundation for moral decision making? In order to live a life of integrity founded on God and His truth, what might need to change?
2. The Right Guide.
As believers we have the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, living within us. However, it seems that so often we fail to consult the Spirit and seek His guidance before making decisions. Consider however that the Spirit will never steer us wrong as God cannot act contrary to His being. Therefore, when we truly seek the Spirit we will not be misguided. In order to receive this guidance however, we must cultivate our walk with the Spirit. Just because we have professed faith in Jesus does not mean that we are automatically walking in the power of the Spirit every day. Rather, we need to intentionally seek His counsel and then choose to follow. How do you regularly seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit? If you don’t, what could you do differently?
3. The Right Battle.
Ephesians 6:2 says, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” While the Bible clearly tells us that we will face battles in a spiritual realm, often we forget this truth and swing our fists at the circumstances around us. If we want to live lives of integrity founded on God and His truth, we must acknowledge the spiritual battle around us. If you are a believer in Christ, Satan wants nothing more than to destroy you. He will do anything he can to cause you to fail morally so that he can keep you from making your greatest impact for Christ. If you are not yet a believer, Satan wants to keep you from ever choosing to follow Jesus. The battle is real and we must never forget who our real enemy is. Are you aware of the battle going on around you today?
With the right foundation grounding us, the right Guide leading us, and the right battle before us, may we live lives of integrity that honor God and bring Him glory.