Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Searching for Integrity

Last night our Monday night men’s Bible study began a series of classes on the subject of the journey to integrity. It was a lesson that I thought we would breeze through because we all have integrity, right? We marched right in to the opening thought by defining what is meant by the term. We boiled it down to a foundation of four words: Incorruptibility, Soundness, Completeness and Honesty. The lesson plan was to launch from there and go into the scriptures to look at the integrity of people like David, Moses, and ultimately, the prime example, Jesus Christ. We got stuck on a great discussion of corruption that has swept our society to the place that dishonesty has become the norm and we have become experts at rationalizing the little white lie. We become like the Pharisees and begin to be glad we are not like the people that do that and the Holy Spirit puts us under “arrest” and we find that we have fallen into the same trap of less than 100% truthfulness. It might be as small as making a promise and not keeping it. (that’s really not small), or not being totally truthful at tax time or in settling for mediocrity when excellence is the thing we said we would do. It brings up questions like, “what do I have in my possession that I borrowed and never returned?” or “what did I report on a form that may not be totally true?” It’s kind of like the old sins of commission vs. the sins of omission thing. We are guilty not only of the wrong things we have done, but also of the right things that we did not do. Wow! Maybe this study on integrity is going to be tougher than we thought. I think we need it.

Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

An Old Hymn:
Written by J. Edwin Orr in 1936

Search me, O God,
And know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior,
Know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be
Some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin
And set me free.

I praise Thee, Lord,
For cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy Word,
And make me pure within.
Fill me with fire
Where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire
To magnify Thy Name.

Lord, take my life,
And make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart
With Thy great love divine.
Take all my will,
My passion, self and pride;
I now surrender, Lord
In me abide.

O Holy Ghost,
Revival comes from Thee;
Send a revival,
Start the work in me.
Thy Word declares
Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessings now,
O Lord, I humbly plead.

1 comment:

Pastor Jim said...

This is excellant!!!