The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.Proverbs 20:7 (NLT)
Have you ever seen videos of how pets behave when their owners aren’t home? They are pretty hilarious. One of my favorite ones has been a husky who is not allowed up on the furniture. Shortly after his owners depart for the day, he climbs up onto the sofa, or even their bed, and gets comfortable. There is video footage of this dog laid out, snoring, with a smile on his face. He’s totally getting away with it! Then, he hears the garage door open up and he immediately is roused from his slumber and he jumps down from the forbidden land. He then tries to smooth out the blankets which he wrinkled as he slept. He tugged on the sheets and blankets with his teeth until the bedding was fairly smooth. The dog then sprinted for the door to greet his owner with lots of love and affection. Of course, the owners knew what was up – hence the reason there is video of the dog. How did they know? Huskies shed a ton, so there were the tell-tale signs of what the dog had done, even if the bedding was wrinkle free. Bad dog!
It has been said that it is easy to be obedient to what we are asked to do when others are watching. But, when we are alone, and there are no prying eyes, temptation sometimes takes over and we fail. This is an indicator of our integrity. You see, integrity is what you do when you think you can get away with it. This is why things such as pornography, drinking, drugs, etc., are so easy to get addicted to. When no one is around, you’re only accountable to yourself. And, depending on your willpower, that’s often times not a good thing.
Especially in our faith journey, integrity is the difference between committing a public sin and a private one. Do we act a certain way at church and then go home and behave in ways which we know are contrary to how God is calling us to live? The answer, for everyone, is yes. Why? Because our integrity has been eroded by sin. And Satan knows it.
So, how do we reclaim our integrity so that we can truly follow Jesus, even when no one else is watching? Connect with Him, both in public and in private. You see, when we fill our homes, our minds, with Christ, then He is there to help us maintain our integrity. When we rely on His power, and fight in His armor, then we are able to do what is right, even when we think we can get away with doing wrong. As our verse today says, “The godly walk with integrity.”