Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Relationship Between Integrity and Stability

by Danetta Kellar

Trust in the Lord and do what is right! Settle in the land and maintain your integrity! Then you will take delight in the Lord, and he will answer your prayers. Commit your future to the Lord! Trust in Him and He will act on your behalf. He will vindicate you in broad daylight, and publicly defend your just cause. -Psalm 37:3-6 (NET)

In the worn pages of my Bible, this passage has scribbles and notes filling the margin and tumbling off the edge. Dates are written down, scattered like stepping stones through the passages of my life, reminding me of the tumultuous world we live in and the many trials we face over time. 

Psalm 37 contains rich instruction for navigating the unsecure world in which we live.

Trust in the Lord and Do What is Right

Trust the Lord. No matter what I may fear, what I may see on the news, what influential person may be promising whatever solution for the world’s problems, I am to trust the Lord foremost.

Do what is right. I am faced with a myriad of daily choices to do what is right. I must seek God’s wisdom in my life day by day, and do what is right in my circle of influence. 

Daily time in the Bible is the best way I can discern how to trust the Lord and do what is right. I mustn't burden yourself with legalistic, unrealistic rules. It does not matter what time of day I spend with God. What is important is that I spend time with Him. Like exercise, I can start small and build up. I will find one day that I cannot live without it.

Settle in the Land and Maintain your Integrity

When the world seems to be crumbling around me, settling seems to be the last thing I can do. Settling in the land, making a nest, building home, letting my roots stretch deep, seems  safe only when things are stable. The world today seems anything but stable.

As I recently returned to this instructive passage yet again, I was intrigued to discover that the phrase maintain your integrity (v3, NET translation notes) means in Hebrew to “tend integrity”. As if my integrity were a flock of sheep, ever seeking to wander off, not able to nourish themselves without shepherding.

Integrity is simply being honest on the inside. I must be who I am in private and in public. My love should be sincere. Integrity involves keeping my word and honoring others privately and publicly. One definition describes it as “being whole and undivided”. 

Integrity is the secret of settling in the land. An undivided heart that trusts in the Lord, doing what is right, can find stability, steadfastness, in no matter what condition the world may be. 

Integrity lays a foundation for stability. 

Integrity does indeed need regular tending. It is not a one-time decision, a vow that can be made with conviction and then left to itself. It must be daily nurtured, maintained, tended. 

It is reflected in the words I use, the attitudes I convey, the choices I make day by day. I must tend it diligently.

Then you will…

take delight in the Lord
commit your future to the Lord
trust in him

And He will…

act on your behalf
vindicate and defend you publicly

Throughout history, through the rise and fall of many civilizations, God has preserved a people who have settled in the land and maintained their integrity. His light, His witness to the world, has shared this common character through the eras. This is what we are called to do today, followers of Jesus.

Dear God, help us do the very things you instruct us to do. Increase our trust in times of uncertainty. Show us the good you would have us do and give us the courage to do it. Search our hearts and nourish integrity in our lives that we may know stability in an unstable world. Amen.


1 comment:

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