“My integrity rests secure when I travel a path that recognizes my limitations—and trusts the Lord with what I am unable to accomplish.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 18, 2021
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him. Matthew 2:7-8
Recently, a friend referred to me a professional he had used before for a project similar to what I was facing. I was somewhat stressed, because I had never encountered (on our property) a very complicated environmental issue which could require extensive work. John did a site visit, spent an hour assessing the need and assured me he could solve the problem. Multiple texts later and three weeks of recurring no shows—I sadly surmised John’s actions did not align with his words. Fortunately, another friend connected me to a resource that showed up within five days to extract the nuisance. Circumspectively, I ask myself—does my behavior align with what I say I believe?
Herod posed as a person who showed keen interest in worshipping the newborn king—Jesus. But, as time passed his actions revealed his motive—to send the Magi to spy on the infant and gather information on his exact location. Once the earthly king pinpointed where Jesus lay, he issued orders to kill all children under age two in that vicinity. But God protected His son by sending an angel to warn Joseph so he might move his family safely to Egypt. Herod’s heart was exposed as a person greedy for power with the goal to destroy any competition for his position.
“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out” (Proverbs 10:9).
To be honest with myself I have to ask myself, “Do my actions reflect what my words say I will do?” Do I keep my word? Do I underpromise and over deliver? Is my life integrated to the point that my character is truly aligned with who I am? Am I the real deal or a poser? True integrity takes a lifetime to gain creditability and in a moment can be discredited. Better for me to do less and follow through more—than to try to impress by saying yes to every opportunity. My integrity rests secure when I travel a path that recognizes my limitations—and trusts the Lord with what I am unable to accomplish. True integrity is true to its word with stellar execution.
What really reveals our integrity is our motive. When our motives are squeezed what comes out? The need to be admired or the opportunity to show selfless love? An occasion to put someone in our debt by serving them or the chance to love generously with our time, not expecting anything in return? A situation to get to know someone so we can control the relationship, or being a loving confidant who is totally trustworthy? True integrity has noble motives—not 100% pure—but genuinely aspires to honor God. Our integrity is a gift of trust we can offer in Jesus’ name.
“When pride comes, shame is not far behind, but wisdom accompanies those who are humble. The right-living are guided by integrity, but the crooked ways of the faithless will lead to ruin. Riches won’t matter on the day of wrath, but right living will rescue from death” (Proverbs 11:2-4, The Voice).
Heavenly Father, grow true integrity with my words and actions, in Jesus’ name, amen.
What area of my life requires a new direction accompanied by pure motives?
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