Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord.Psalm 119:1 (NLT)
Have you ever been made to follow rules, laws, or commands that you didn’t agree with? If not, check your pulse, you may not be alive. The reality is that there are rules and regulations that we must navigate in this life. There are some that we whole-heartedly support and agree with, while others we just shake our heads and wonder what people were thinking when they adopted such a stupid (to us, anyway) rule.
Unfortunately, we, as a society, have trained ourselves to outwardly keep the rules when people are watching, but not so much when we know there is no authority figure around. Whether at home, work, or church, we smile and act like we’re following the rules, when in reality we are just waiting until the gaze of any authority figure is no longer upon us so we can do what we want.
Though we can laugh about getting away with things (and we’ve probably all done it), this concept can translate into our walk with God, too. We can act godly at church, or chapel, vespers, Bible study, or the other places and times we are called to be more “holy.” But, when we aren’t in those situations, we often times decide to do things we know aren’t according to God’s plans for us. No one is watching, after all.
This is where our verse of the day comes in. “Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord.” You see, obedience only when others are watching is not obedience. Living a life of integrity means we are still obedient even when we know we won’t get caught. We obey because it’s the right thing to do at all times.
But, notice that we aren’t just called to live a life of integrity. We will be blessed as a result. Indeed, we will be “joyful!” How, or why would we be joyful by following rules? Because, unlike human rules that are flawed, God’s commands are always correct. Not only that, but they are there to give us a rich, full life. They are there to protect our relationship with Him and others. By following His rules, we avoid many of the pitfalls Satan has put in our paths. By following His rules, we can have peace that what we are doing is right.