Monday, August 22

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. --Proverbs 11:2-3

My car's tires are imprinted with a thought-provoking word as part of the manufacturer's logo. That word is "integrity." I'm assuming that it is used to convey the tire company's unspoken assurance that their product is of sound material, designed to endure mile after mile of commuting on California's highways. In a similar way, Christians should be people of integrity--able to survive the daily rigors of being in the world but not of it.

King Solomon says that the integrity of the upright guides them. In order to understand this idea, we need to understand exactly what is meant by the word integrity. Some sources define integrity in terms of morality. Is it our morality that guides us? Perhaps there is some truth to that, but morality is increasingly relativistic in application, especially in our American society. In my opinion, such wavering morality subjects us to the same destruction that the unfaithful experience as a result of their duplicity.

The Latin root of the word integrity is integer which means complete. With that in mind, perhaps a more fitting definition of the completeness that is requisite of integrity is found in the following: "an unreduced or unbroken completeness or totality." Similarly, the Biblical definition of integrity is most clearly depicted in the Old Testament book of Job.

Job was unwavering, unbroken in his integrity. He clung to God's promises despite the difficult circumstances and trials God allowed him to endure at the hands of Satan. Personally, I am amazed that Job never relented in his commitment to God. There was a time when I, under far less spiritual attack than Job, failed to exhibit the same sense of integrity in regard to my faith. Job's integrity guided him when it came to dealing with his trials. Even when his countenance was mournful, he remained upright in spirit. His relationship with God remained in tact when his world was literally crumbling around him. God gave Job the strength he needed to remain a man of unbroken completeness or totality.

When the rubber hits the road, integrity is not merely about being moral or honest. It's about holding unswervingly to the hope we profess in Christ. Our ability to remain unreduced or unbroken in a world that desperately want us to fold under pressure comes through living a life of integrity. God, our source of strength will never change. Because of Him we are able to people of integrity in a world of the unfaithful.

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