“The supreme test of goodness is not in the greater but in the smaller incidents of our character and practice; not what we are when standing in the searchlight of public scrutiny, but when we reach the firelight flicker of our homes; not what we are when some clarion-call rings through the air, summoning us to fight for life and liberty, but our attitude when we are called to sentry-duty in the gray morning, when the watchfire is burning low. It is impossible to be our best at the supreme moment if character is corroded and eaten into by daily inconsistency, unfaithfulness and besetting sin.”
Those are the words of English evangelist F.B. Meyer (1847-1929), longtime friend and associate of D.L. Moody. Meyer was advancing a theme here that I often heard my dad explain that we can see what a man truly is when he is on his knees before God. It is in those quiet moments when we are alone with God that we can see ourselves for who we really are. And spending time alone with God will certainly lead us to lives of integrity and purpose.
Integrity seems to be a lost quality these days. Situational ethics are more the rule of the day, which means that the ultimate truth of God’s Word is viewed by some as unnecessary, even despised.
I read this week about an undercover video of a Planned Parenthood official who, when asked if babies that are born alive following abortions, are sent to the hospital. The Planned Parenthood official replied that it depends on who is in the room at the time. This, dear friends, is situational ethics — a very disturbing element of it.
When man abandons God’s Truth, it is difficult to determine how far he will fall or how much integrity he will willfully sacrifice. As followers of Christ, we must daily ensure that we are living out His truth, His integrity and His love. The world must see in us the character of Christ.
Why is this so important? Psalm 41:11-12 (NKJV) gives us the key. It reads, “By this I know that You are well pleased with me, because my enemy does not triumph over me. As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, and set me before Your face forever.” God proclaims His uprightness in this passage and tells us that we are to defend this integrity by living for Him in all things.
Proverbs 28:18 tells us, “Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved, but he who is perverse in his ways will suddenly fall.” Regarding this passage, the Liberty Bible Commentary says: “The man who purposes in his heart to cleave to the laws of Yahweh will be saved from much that vexes the soul of the perverse man.” In other words, living with Christian integrity will save us from a lot of turmoil.
God has ideals and He wants us to claim them and to live by them daily. In order to live victoriously and with power in our testimonies, we need to live uprightly, asking God daily to fill us with His integrity and His truth. The world offers only compromise and ever-changing systems of belief that hold no truth or substance. God’s truth is eternal and we, His followers, need to constantly have eternity in mind as we live lives of holiness and point others to the Christ, the Son of the Living God.