Recently, I was pondering the scripture in Matthew 5:48: “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” This verse got me asking the question: How can we be perfect like our Father? Many thoughts immediately overwhelmed me, but the one that resonated within me was integrity. Integrity is defined as the quality of being honest and having strong moral convictions, and also the state of being whole or undivided. God has integrity, and He is looking for a people that will walk in integrity too!
In the book of Joshua, we read the account of the children of Israel as they were getting ready to enter the Promised Land. This was a land promised by God to Abraham and His seed hundreds of years earlier. When the Lord spoke to Abraham and gave him the promise of the land, He warned him that his descendants would be slaves in a foreign land for four hundred years before they would be given this land. The reason for the delay was based on God’s justice. The people who now possessed the land would not be taken out until their “iniquity,” or lawlessness, had come to its fullness. Basically, the God of justice would not disinherit them until it was a justifiable action. I find this to be an amazing character trait of God. He has set order to life and never violates the order and laws that He has set to govern the world. This is the ultimate demonstration of integrity, or walking as undivided. Even though He set order to all things, He does not violate that order! The scriptures tell us, “God is not a man that He would lie or the son of man that He would change His mind.” Simply put, God is not like us and He is calling us to come to a higher level in Him!
We live in a world where the standard of integrity has become increasingly diminished. The world is filled with leaders who have evolving moral standards that often bow when they are conflicted by the opinions of others. This is especially true when it helps them gain influence or position in society. The irony, of course, is that if you change in order to gain the support of people, you in fact do not really have influence or position—you are simply a pawn of the people. When people have strong opinions, society often castigates them and marginalizes them to the fringe. Unfortunately, many in the Christian church are following the same course as they waiver in their conviction. Churches and leaders are bending to popular opinion to reach a broader audience for “Jesus,” and on the surface, they even seem to be successful. They often have large churches, sell many books, and live a life of prosperity. However, the end result of this process, as mentioned above, gives the appearance of influence, but actually results in simply being a pawn of society. Jesus Christ told His disciples, “You are the light of the world.” He also said, “You are the salt of the earth.” If the salt doesn’t add flavor, you might as well get rid of it. If you hide the light under a basket, what good is the light? God is calling us to be a light in the midst of darkness. We need to be people of integrity: we need to be like our Father! Will you ask the Lord to help you see the areas where you might be divided or lacking the full standard He desires?