Integrity: No Price Too Great

Proverbs 2: 6 – 8

Jesus asked the ageless question, “What shall it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”

For thirty pieces of silver Judas sold himself. What’s your price?  If your integrity were up for sale, what would be your asking price?       

Integrity is best defined by some synonyms, such as, honesty,  faithfulness, sincerity, and innocence. It means having a mind free of subterfuge and deception.  The writer of Proverbs used the Hebrew word for integrity, TOM (tome), that in our text is translated “walks upright.” It is an axiom that means “one who has a lifestyle free of a hidden agenda.”  It means you don’t have anything to hide.

We must have an integrity compass set on a true spiritual north. That setting is Jesus Christ. We must be locked on to Him or we lose our direction.

Integrity is a 24 year-old Abraham Lincoln serving as postmaster of New Salem, Illinois, for an annual salary of $55.70. Even the youthful Lincoln showed the integrity that earned him the title “Honest Abe.”  The New Salem post office was closed in 1836, but it was several years before a government agent arrived from Washington to settle the accounts with Ex-Postmaster Lincoln who was at the time a struggling young lawyer not doing well. The agent informed him that there was $17 due the government. Lincoln crossed the room, opened an old trunk, and took out a yellow cotton rag bound with a string. Untying it, he spread out the cloth revealing the $17. He had been holding it all those years. Lincoln said, “I never use any man’s money but my own.” That is integrity.

“He who walks in integrity walks securely…” (Proverbs 10: 9).  “Walks” is a word for “lifestyle.”  This is an appeal to maintain a lifestyle of integrity. When life is over, God will not measure our integrity by our moments of brilliance but by our consistency. To do so, a word within the word integrity speaks of a characteristic needed. Notice it “inteGRITy,” it takes GRIT.

Integrity means singing “I will be true to thee till death” and meaning it. It means engaging in a death-defying dedication to demonstrate it.

Integrity means abiding by your convictions against all odds when your closest friends are saying of the world “I came, I saw, I concurred.”  It is being able to walk away saying, “I came, I saw, I conquered, through the power of Jesus Christ.”

He is a shield to those who walk upright, that is, in integrity.

Notice, it is not integrity that is a shield; it is God Himself who is the shield for the person who manifests integrity. As a shield takes the blows on itself intended for another, so our Lord takes our potential injury on Himself.

The fact a shield is needed clearly implies warfare. A person who dares to maintain a lifestyle of integrity can expect to be engaged in spiritual warfare.  The person who valiantly and virtuously maintains integrity will not lack for a Helper nor an ultimate reward.