Integrity of Heart

senior cool man proud conceptI begin nearly every day of my life with a shower first thing in the morning and then choose what I’ll wear that day. I try to dress for the occasion. If it’s a normal work day – a branded shirt and casual slacks.  I decided a long time ago before I get dressed physically that it’s important to dress up my heart first thing. I love hearing from the Lord as He builds out my heart. The more time I spend with Him, the more I know Him and I start acting more like Him in the different circumstances I will face each day.

Asaph pens a long and detailed psalm that contained quite a history lesson for the people of Israel. He concludes the psalm by telling his readers that God chose David for a reason. Check this out…

70 He chose David his servant
    and took him from the sheep pens;
71 from tending the sheep he brought him
    to be the shepherd of his people Jacob,
    of Israel his inheritance.
72 And David shepherded them with integrity of heart;
    with skillful hands he led them. (Psalm 78:70-72 NIV)

I was moved by that last verse describing David’s leadership -” his integrity of heart”. The heart can be hidden most days from most people. I believe that the Lord looks to my heart way more intensely and consistently that He looks at any action I take. The Lord is way more concerned with my heart that my behavior. I believe that ALL BEHAVIOR comes from the heart. My good choices and bad choices all come from my heart. I believe that there is a constant battle going on inside my heart for control. When I made Jesus Lord of my life, the battle for my heart started and is continuing even today. I want to equip my heart with the Word of God so that my heart capacity for God can expand and grow. I want to be known as a leader with integrity. I give permission for any Christ follower to challenge me or to check my heart if they see some behavior that lacks integrity. I believe integrity begins in my heart and displays itself in my everyday life. It’s not a one-time action – it is a lifestyle.

Today and every day, I surrender my heart to the Lord. He alone can build my heart to reflect His.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Integrity Test

Always Time to Do What's Right Saying Clock QuoteThere is a line that seems to get crossed often when it suits certain people’s whims or wishes. There is always a line that separates right and wrong; good and bad. I’ve seen people do some really crazy things to protect themselves and their possessions. They seem to be willing to make a deal with just about anyone for any reason to protect themselves at all costs – even it flies in the face of honest and honorable behavior.

Integrity by definition is: adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. Another way of saying this is a quote credited to the late Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the US Senate who said: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” I will confess to failure many times when it comes to standing upon my faith in the Lord. His Word has integrity. His actions have integrity. His love has never given up on me.

This meeting that the Lord had with some of His angels and Satan was there was pretty interesting. Job had evidently passed the first test when all he had was taken from him. The second test is going to be way different a fight for his own life. Check this out…

3 Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.’

4 ‘Skin for skin!’ Satan replied. ‘A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.’

6 The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.’

7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.

9 His wife said to him, ‘Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!’

10 He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’

In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. (Job 2:3-10 NIV)

Integrity is a must for all great leaders. Their word needs to mean something. They can’t let their belief system simply blow whichever way the wind is blowing. I believe integrity to be an important part of the moral code of a person. Integrity says that what I say and what I do are in complete harmony. There are times that what I say and what I believe are in conflict because my mouth starts moving before my heart and mind are engaged. Jesus clearly says that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks and there are times my heart needs a good cleaning. I think integrity starts with my heart. I want my heart to be completely devoted to the Lord and His call upon my life. I want the words of my mouth and all my actions to come from deep within my heart that is sold out to Him. I want to live honorably from that place of deep integrity. I can already see why Job is held in high esteem – his patient endurance of suffering has set a really high benchmark for sure. He is the epitome of integrity in the midst of great suffering and pain. He passed the integrity test with “flying colors”!

Pressing On!

Dwayne