Do you have integrity in your life? What do you do even when it seems no one is looking, and no one will ever know, do you do the right thing?
You know what’s true about a trial? The same thing that’s true about a man who gives his word. He swears to his own hurt and he changes not. When a man of integrity is confronted by a path that’s easy, but to take the easy path means I have to forfeit my integrity, versus a path that hurts, but to walk it, to walk the path of integrity, I’m going to have to suffer the pain. And this comes back to trials because in trials, we’re faced with what temptation? We’re faced with going through the trial.
Typically, one of the things that is true about the trial is that to go through it in a way of integrity means that there’s going to be certain suffering. And many times, there are ways out of trials. You see, the person that is not a person of integrity will seek to avoid pain at all costs even though it will cost them their honor or cost them their honesty. How about mistakes? When people fail? There is a place too where a person’s integrity will show. Because I’ll tell you this about David. When he was confronted by his sin, he admitted it. A man without integrity will seek to hide what he has done. He won’t seek to admit what he’s done. Mistakes. Honesty.
You live in this house. Integrity says, I come home. I’m famished. Go to the refrigerator. There’s a half-eaten sandwich. Integrity says that doesn’t belong to me. I’m not going to eat it. You know what integrity says? You take a soda at Fatty’s or a water and you pay for it. Integrity says that when I know the boss is out sick that day, I don’t mark it down as a play day. I work just as hard as if he was there. And you know what motivates a man to do that? A man who knows that in all of his actions God is there. And God is watching. And God vindicates and upholds and protects and allows access to His holy hill, men of integrity.
You see, a person who really longs for Christ and longs for intimacy with God knows that the person of integrity has access to His holy hill and will be invited very often into the intimate place that people without integrity are not invited into. And I’ll tell you this. There are degrees of integrity among God’s children. That degree of integrity, those who have the highest degrees of it are granted access into the most privileged places more than those who don’t have it. And if you really desire to be there, you who walk before God, you know that He’s watching you. “A man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord.” Proverbs 5:21, “…and He ponders all his paths.” I’ll tell you, when you come to that refrigerator, men who live here, and you find something in that refrigerator that doesn’t belong to you, God is there and He’s pondering your path. When you go and you pull that soda out at Fatty’s, God is there and He’s pondering the path. When you walk through life, when you’re telling the story, and you embellish it and you add facts that make you look good, but aren’t exactly true and you stretch things, God is there and He’s weighing out your words in the balance and He knows. And a man of integrity will purposely not over embellish a story. He will purposely under-embellish it lest he be found a liar in the sight of God.
Integrity. Do you have it? Young people, do you have it? Those of you that live in this house – it’s amazing that one of the things that we want to encourage is integrity for those young men that live in this house. You know what’s amazing to me is this last first of the month, the guys that are supposed to pay their money on the first Sunday of the month, we had four of the men not pay. And some of those men are men that are members of our church. Integrity, men. Integrity, ladies.
Do you give your word that you’re going to do something? Do you give your word that you’re going to be on time at a job? Do you take a job and you tell your boss I’m going to do this? I’ll do this. I’ll work for you. I give you my word. And then, are you found to work half-hearted? Half as much as the people that are lost in that workplace? This is a matter of integrity. There is a God that sees. 2 Chronicles 16:9, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward Him.” His eyes. As the Bible likens this to that of a man that we can imagine God, His eyes are running to and fro all the time, back and forth, and what is He looking for? Men and women of integrity. I’ll tell you this, you know what the motivation is to live a life of integrity? It’s faith that truly believes that even when no one else is watching, God knows and He’s weighing it all out in His balances. And based on your decisions, based on your honesty, based on your integrity, you are going to be granted access to greater and lesser degrees to His very holy place and to communion with Him and Him preserving you.
And when you walk a life like that, you can go into your prayer place and you can say, “Father, I ask You for this based on my integrity.” And that is not an unbiblical way to pray. But it is an unbiblical way to pray if you don’t have integrity. I call you to it. “The Lord is in His holy temple.” Psalm 11:4 says, “The Lord’s throne is in Heaven. His eyes see. His eyelids test the children of man.” We can’t hide ourselves before the Lord. He tests all of our ways. There is your motivation for integrity. The Lord before Whom you walk. The Lord before Whom you live. The Lord before Whom you must carry out your ways and your words and your thoughts, Whose eyes are running to and fro constantly looking. Isn’t it amazing? The Lord is specifically looking for people of integrity. Young people, don’t cut corners on integrity. Don’t be half-hearted. Dwell on these things. It’s only of faith that believes what I’ve said tonight. It’s only of faith that believes. It’s only a person that lives in an awareness of the presence of God and believes God is here, God is present, God is watching, God is concerned, God is weighing, God’s eyes are running to and fro. It’s only with that conviction that you will be motivated to live a life of integrity. Guarantee, that is the driving force. That is the driving conviction. Well, may God help us to do so.