Living with Spiritual Integrity

by APC on July 19, 2018

The Basics of Integrity

Integrity is a spiritual effort in life and a basic principle that comes from God. Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. For Christians, this is the pursuit of the righteousness of God in our lives.

Scripture notes we should walk in integrity, being blameless before God (Proverbs 19:1). We should mitigate the ability of anyone speaking against us for doing something wrong. People should even feel ashamed trying to accuse us of something because of our witness (I Peter 3:16).

The First Instance of Integrity

Abraham’s wife, Sarah, was a very beautiful woman. She was so beautiful that Abraham feared other men would try to kill him to take her as their wife. Therefore, Abraham’s fear drove him to instruct Sarah to tell people she was his sister. While unrealized by Abraham, instructing his wife to lie was fostering a lack of integrity in both of them.

While traveling through another land, King Abimelech looked upon Sarah with favor, and in learning she was Abraham’s “sister,” took her into his household to be his wife. God came to Abimelech in a dream and revealed to him that Sarah was Abraham’s wife. God told Abimelech to return Sarah to Abraham. He noted that He knew Abimelech had done all in innocence and was trying to uphold his integrity, and therefore, this sin would not be held against him (Genesis 20:3–6).

God dealt with a man who wasn’t a follower of Him about his integrity vs. Abraham, who was a called-out man of God who wasn’t operating according to integrity. We must operate in spiritual integrity at all times and be a witness to the lost world.

Acting Against Integrity

A blameless life is far more valuable than anything else. Many people act against integrity because they fear the unknown: lack of wealth, incompletion of hopes and dreams, etc. The root of our actions lacking integrity is our desire to feed our own selfishness. We must realize the true value of integrity and put this far above anything else. Losing out on what we desire is a small price to pay for integrity with God.

Avenues of Integrity

Our Possessions

Scripture tells us we must be a true witness and never use a false weight in any transactions (Proverbs 11:1). Changing the value of a weight in any capacity in our daily living is an abomination to God. If we think we can cheat in the “small” things/areas of our life we’ll cheat in the “big” things—especially our relationship with God. Moving away from integrity, even in small amounts, start us on a slippery slope that will cause us to act without integrity in all areas in life.

Relationships with People

Our words govern our integrity with people; what we communicate holds a lot of weight. We must communicate truthfully and not lie. Avoidance of white lies is paramount, and even lies we tells our children because we need a quick excuse. Scripture tells us a false witness will not go unpunished with God (Proverbs 19:5). God instructs His people to be honest, confess, and repent.

Relationship with God

Having integrity with God and our relationship with Him supersedes everything else. If we don’t have integrity with God, we don’t have integrity in any other area of our life. We can’t have integrity in our finances and not with God. We can’t have integrity with God and not our relationships. If we have integrity with God it will be present in all areas of our life. If we don’t, we have an underlying spiritual issue (II Corinthians 4:2).

Our spiritual walk (our heart) needs to be right with God. If we choose to be right on the “outside” and not on the “inside” we are in a bit of trouble. Paul warned Timothy not to allow his heart to become seared: not to allow the flesh to get out or allow the Spirit of God to get in (I Timothy 4:1–3). We must strip ourselves of our former nature, get a new mindset and a new heart, and live a lifestyle of spiritual integrity with God (Ephesians 4:17–24).

Why We Lack Integrity

There are several reasons why we lack spiritual integrity in our life. Due to our fleshly nature, we want to avoid conflict at all costs. We need to forget what the world thinks and obey what God has told us. Paul talked with Peter about his behavior toward Jews vs. Gentiles in Galatians 2.

Additionally, in our human reasoning, we think abstaining from integrity will help us gain an advantage. This is our own perception, but a lack of integrity never pays off—sin will always find us out. Ananias and Sapphira tried to lie to Peter (and the Holy Ghost) about how much they were donating to the church, but God struck them dead because of their lack of integrity (Acts 5:1–11).

Lastly, when we don’t act with a spirit of integrity, we’re in direct rebellion of God. When we know to do good and we don’t, this is rebellion and a sin.

Submission to God

The basis of integrity comes down to submission. We need to submit to God and everything/anyone He wants us to be submitted to: what’s in us, over us, and around us. We need to learn to submit to the Word of God that’s in us. The Psalmist hid the Word in his heart so he wouldn’t sin against God (Psalms 119:11). We need to obey the governance God places over us (Hebrews 13:17). And, we need to learn to submit to the body of Christ (Ephesians 5; Philippians 2:1).

We all need a revival of spiritual integrity in our lives. Let’s make a decision to submit to God and allow Him to have His way in our life.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on July 18, 2018 with Pastor Nave