Trying to act right?
People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed. (Proverbs 10:9)
Most of us really desire to have a walk of integrity - consistent, upright, and firmly grounded. What happens between desire and action is a mystery to many of us. We start so well, with all the right intentions in mind, but then somewhere in the middle, we just make wrong turns and get off-course. How do we become 'people with integrity'? When we ask this question, we are really asking how do we become 'whole'. We become 'whole' in the presence of Jesus - we remain 'whole' because we keep Jesus central in all our decisions.
As I did a bit of a deep dive into how we become people of integrity, I was amazed at how many self-help gurus have outlined the 'steps toward integrity'. All of these gurus completely leave Jesus out of the 'steps'. For example, in one article it tells us to 'try to keep our promises even if we need to make sacrifices to keep them'. Another tells us to 'discover our inner life', while someone else tells us to 'accept and listen to helpful criticism'. Sheesh! No wonder we are so confused about becoming people of integrity!
We don't find our 'integrity' in some 'set of steps'. We find it in Jesus. He is the only thing that completes us - makes us whole, consistent, and firmly grounded. When we struggle with right decisions, it is usually because we have moved Christ 'off-center' in our lives. When we really want to walk with integrity, we realize it is not found in 'doing', but in 'trusting'. We place our trust in the finished work of Christ, relying upon his wisdom and grace to help us take the necessary steps to 'be on course' all the time. That means we stop trying to help ourselves 'act right' and we allow him to create the conditions in our heart and mind that actually help us walk right. Just sayin!