WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 22, 2021
TOPIC: WALKING IN INTEGRITY
BY T. O. BANSO
“The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him” (Proverbs 20:7 New King James Version).
Nelson’s Bible Dictionary defines integrity as “Honesty, sincerity, singleness of purpose.” There are two main Hebrew words that are translated as integrity in the Bible. The first is tom, which means completeness, fullness, innocence, simplicity, and integrity. The second is tummah, which means integrity.
According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, “the word “integrity” does not occur in the New Testament, but its equivalents may be seen in “sincerity” “truth,” the “pure heart,” the “single eye,” etc.” Cambridge Dictionary defines integrity as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles that you refuse to change.”
Whether you’re a minister of the gospel, an entrepreneur, a public servant, a student, or whatever you may be, integrity is crucial. You should be a person of integrity; you should walk in integrity. Lack of integrity is a huge deficit that will not allow one to attain the height one is supposed to attain.
It doesn’t matter the height anyone has risen to, or the success he has achieved, without integrity it will not endure. Lack of integrity will cause demotion and disgrace. It will cause someone to fall from grace to grass. A wise person will walk in integrity and guard his integrity jealously. A good name is better than precious ointment (Ecclesiastes 7:1a).
Be a person of integrity – a person of honesty, sincerity, singleness of purpose. Walk in integrity and don’t depart from this path. “The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him” (Proverbs 20:7 New King James Version). The Bible also says, “He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known” (Proverbs 10:9 New King James Version).
It is only in a society with no values, or where their values have been eroded that a wealthy person without integrity will be celebrated. In a sane society, people won’t give honour to such a person. Integrity is superior to money. Wealth without integrity is nothing. Brilliance without integrity is nothing. Aspire to be the best in your chosen field but never sacrifice integrity. Many have been disgraced out of office because of a lack of integrity.
Proverbs 28:6 says, “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich”(New King James Version). Similarly, Proverbs 19:1 says, “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool” (New King James Version).
Abimelech, a heathen king, king of Gerar, is the first person in the Bible described as having integrity. He answered God in a dream that it was in the integrity of his heart and the innocency of his hands that he did what he did, taking Sarah, Abraham’s wife (Genesis 20:5). Abraham had claimed she was his sister. God also confirmed that he did it in the integrity of his heart. Abimelech restored Sarah to Abraham as commanded by God (verse 14).
David was a man of integrity. He cried to God, “Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity” (Psalm 26:1 New King James Version). He said earlier in Psalm 25:21, “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You” (New King James Version). David wasn’t a perfect man, and nobody is. Nevertheless, he was a man of integrity. Integrity doesn’t mean you’re perfect; it means your heart is right, you’re genuine, sincere, and truthful, and you always strive to do what is right.
It is integrity that will make a man admits his sin, or fault, without trying to make excuses or pass the buck. David did this when he was confronted with his sin of adultery and murder and when he realized his error in conducting a census, which led to the death of 70,000 men of Israel (2 Samuel 12:13; 24:10; 2 Chronicles 21:7-8). In fact, God testified of David that he walked in the integrity of heart (1 Kings 9:4).
Concerning the LORD’s choice of David as king in place of Saul, the prophet Samuel said the LORD had sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD had commanded him to be commander over His people because Saul had not kept what the LORD commanded him (1 Samuel 13:14).
Acts 13:22 refers to David’s choice as king, stating that God said, “David son of Jesse is a man after my own heart, for he will do everything I want him to” (New Living Translation). Please take note of the latter part of this scripture: “for he will do everything I want him to.” This is integrity.
Emulate David and do everything that God wants you to do. Do all things He has told you to do in His Word. David was a man of integrity. In Psalm 7:8, he could say, “The LORD shall judge the peoples; judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to my integrity within me” (New King James Version). David walked in integrity. You, too, should.
Also, Job was a man of integrity. God testified of him in Job 2:3 that he still held fast to his integrity although Satan had incited God against him, to destroy him without cause. Job’s wife equally testified of his integrity in Job 2:9 when she said to Job, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (New King James Version). However, Job replied to her that she spoke as one of the foolish women. Job didn’t compromise his integrity.
Maintain your integrity in all things you do as a child of God or a servant of God. Be honest. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 6:8, “We are honest, but they call us impostors” (New Living Translation). Honesty is important in ministry as well as any other calling. Among other things, the prophet Jeremiah accused the prophets in Jerusalem of loving dishonesty (Jeremiah 23:14). What a bad reputation!
People may call you any name they like but be honest. Be honest to God, be honest to yourself, and be honest to others. Psalm 64:6 says the human heart and mind are cunning. But you must avoid cunning craftiness (Ephesians 4:14). Cunningness is not integrity.
A minister with integrity should be confident to say, as Paul said, “And so, since God in his mercy has given us this wonderful ministry, we never give up. We reject all shameful and underhanded methods. We do not try to trick anyone, and we do not distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know that” (2 Corinthians 4:1-2 New Living Translation).
Paul maintained a life of honesty in ministry. He told the Ephesian elders he had invited to Miletus thus: “I have never coveted anyone’s money or fine clothing. You know that these hands of mine have worked to pay my own way, and I have even supplied the needs of those who were with me” (Acts 20:33-35 (New Living Translation). Nobody could contradict Paul. Having ministered to the Ephesian church for three years, night and day, he was to them a good example of doing a blameless ministry.
He went ahead to warn the Ephesian elders that after his departure, false teachers, like vicious wolves, would come in among them, not sparing the flock and that some of them would distort the truth in order to draw a following (Acts 20:30). Look at that! Gospel ministers distorting the word of God! But why will they do that? – For dishonest gain. This is happening today.
Let’s look at the example of the prophet Samuel. Consider his confidence in challenging the people to contradict his claim of leading them with integrity or honesty and their answer confirming his incorruptible character. “‘Now tell me as I stand before the LORD and before his anointed one — whose ox or donkey have I stolen? Have I ever cheated any of you? Have I ever oppressed you? Have I ever taken a bribe? Tell me and I will make right whatever I have done wrong.’ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘you have never cheated or oppressed us in any way, and you have never taken even a single bribe’” (1 Samuel 12:3-4 New Living Translation). What a leader!
Unfortunately, Samuel’s sons did not emulate his integrity or incorruptibility while they were serving under him. They turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice (1 Samuel 8:3). Nehemiah was another man who demonstrated exemplary leadership; he is a symbol of integrity in leadership (Nehemiah 5:14-18).
Proverbs 11:3 says, “Good people are guided by their honesty; treacherous people are destroyed by their dishonesty” (New Living Translation). Dishonest ministers may appear to be successful, attracting people’s attention, gathering crowds, financially prosperous, etc. But it is just for a season; it won’t last. Their destruction will soon come. The Bible says a king will have a long reign if he hates dishonesty and bribes (Proverbs 28:16b).
What the Lord expects of the ministers of the gospel, He also expects of others in different professions or careers. Whether you are a teacher, doctor, lawyer, engineer, journalist, police officer, or whatever, walk in integrity. David says in Psalm 51 that God “desires honesty from the heart” (verse 6a New Living Translation). Jeremiah says, “LORD, you are searching for honesty” (Jeremiah 5:3a New Living Translation). Walk in integrity.
Be honest in all things. God is concerned about honesty in every aspect of your life. Walk in integrity. Be known by others as a person of integrity. Don’t lie to people or deceive anyone (Zechariah 8:16; Colossians 3:9; Ephesians 4:25). Keep your promises (Matthew 5:37). Let your light so shine before everyone, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
Don’t demand or take a bribe; be contented with your salary or income. “Take no bribes, for a bribe makes you ignore something that you clearly see. A bribe always hurts the cause of the person who is in the right” (Exodus 23:8 New Living Translation). Deuteronomy 16:19 gives a similar warning: “Never accept a bribe, for bribes blind the eyes of the wise and corrupt the decisions of the godly” (New Living Translation).
Wealth acquired through dishonesty doesn’t endure (Proverbs 13:11). Obey the Word of God and be blessed. It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich and adds no sorrow to it (Proverbs 10:22). Avoid dishonesty. Be honest and sincere in your dealing with others. Walk in integrity.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of my failure to walk in integrity in the past; please forgive me. Holy Spirit, help me to walk in integrity as from today. I shall walk with integrity; I shall not pervert my ways in Jesus’ name. I shall not seek dishonest gain. Holy Spirit, help me to do everything God wants me to do.
(For over 400 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947