17 Jan The Power of Personal Integrity
Integrity demands living by principles rather than by impulsiveness or so called situational ethics. Principles act as the key to consistent behaviour especially when these principles are based on reality or spiritual foundations in the Word of God. In every aspect of life the bible has principles that if applied, can form the foundation for a life of integrity. Financially, relationally, socially as well as personally, we need the time-tested and God-focussed principles to act as the unchanging core of our lives so that we can expect Gods grace to make the difference in our lives. The difficulty we face in this situation underscores the need to build and maintain a relationship with God in which we can draw on the divine ability of God called grace. Practising religion without a relational focus can be dry and have a streak of condemnation in the lives of people who practise it. We all get inspired when we read or see the ones who never comprised their core values and end up getting results that out-weigh others who compromised what they know to be right for the sake of temporary benefits or results. This is the secret of the power of integrity. We inspired by the Daniels who purposed in their hearts not to defile themselves with the kings meat and wine; Or the three Hebrew guys who will not bow the image of gold that was being bowed to in their days. What inspires us is not only their stance but what the final outcome is. They did not end up as religious bigots who just did it without securing any real influence in the lives of others nor bring visible glory to their God. Jesus was another example of one who walked in integrity. He went on in the power of the Spirit after He refused to yield to the flesh or pride on the mount of temptation as the scriptures say.
The issues are these: what is right is what God says in His Word. His principles of operation, His heart searching reality-penetrating word of God form the basis of our choices and we delight in them because we love Him. We embrace these as we seek to know Him and His ways so as to pleasing to Him. As we find these out we see our humanity as not being able to do these things in our strength. Out of our relationship with Him, we draw on His grace for strength as we commit to doing His word. He has promised never to leave of forsake us, no matter what we go through.
With integrity we will do what is right no matter who is watching. We will plant the right seeds and hence reap the right harvests. We will win the inner battles that many fail before they fail outwardly. Our inner compass will be a more reliable one than merely responding to situations we find ourselves. Where are the men and women of integrity today? You can be one as you make the choice to be intimate with your loving Heavenly Father, through believing in His Son, Jesus Christ. God loves you too much to leave you the way you are. As you get close to Him expect the corrections He gives by His Spirit. Forming the nature and character of Christ in us is almost a life-long journey. There will be many course-corrections on the way. The decision to stay teachable and be willing to challenge our own thought patterns as we examine them in the light of God’s Word will produce personal integrity in us. When thoughts arise in us, we can ask questions, get to identify root issues in us and allow the loving correction of the Spirit of Truth confront the true state of our hearts and bring about deliverance in us. Many major on deliverance from the power-encounter perspective not realising there is also the need for the truth-encounter type of deliverance. Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a lamp unto my path. He desires truth in the inward parts. Pride is called what it is and confronted and eventually replaced with the realisation that I am who I am only by His grace, what is there to boast about? No man has anything except that which heaven gives. Such thoughts will help us see the foolishness of pride in us and we can humble ourselves and serve others for their benefits as well as ours. As our pride begins to die as we serve, we develop the heart of a servant and keep applying the cross to our soulish pride. Such sincerity will translate into integrity. Welcome to real maturity and inner development as Christ, through His Word is being formed in us. Read also Psalm 26.
Rev. Kola Ewuosho