Walking in Integrity
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"A righteous person who walks in his integrity--How blessed are his sons after him." (Proverbs 20:7)
This lesson explains the biblical meaning of "integrity" and "walking in integrity."
Consider. Are you "walking in integrity"? Is your integrity a good example for your children to follow?
1. What is the biblical meaning of "integrity"?
In the Old Testament, the most-often occurring Hebrew word translated as "integrity" is tom (pronounced tome) (Englishman's Concordance, Ref. 1). The Hebrew word tom means moral innocence, full, integrity, perfection, simplicity, and uprightness (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, Ref. 1). Dictionary.com defines "integrity" as adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; and honesty (Ref. 2).
The biblical teaching about integrity comes primarily from the Old Testament. Abimelech pleaded his integrity and innocence before God after Abraham had told Abimelech that Sarah was his sister but didn't mention that she was his wife (Genesis 20:1-6). David purposed to walk within his house in the integrity of his heart (Psalm 101:2), and he recognized that integrity preserved him (Psalm 25:21). Solomon wrote wonderful proverbs describing the benefits of integrity. Refer to Proverbs 2:7, 10:9, 11:3, 19:1, 20:7, and 28:6.
In the King James Version, the word "integrity" does not occur in the New Testament. However, the New Testament does describe virtues such as truth, honesty, and purity that are necessary components of integrity. For example, see Philippians 4:8.
2. "Walking in integrity" is a way of life and conduct
In the Bible, the words "walk" and "walking" figuratively mean a way of life and conduct (Ref. 3). "Walking in integrity" denotes a way of life and conduct that is complete, upright, and morally innocent (Ref. 1). David wrote, "Lord, who may reside in Your tent? Who may settle on Your holy hill? One who walks with integrity, practices righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart" (Psalm 15:1-2).
Walking in integrity begins at home. David wrote, "I will carefully attend to the blameless way. When will You come to me? I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart" (Psalm 101:2, italics added). Our good example of walking in integrity begins in our household.
3. "Walking in Integrity" has important benefits
"Walking in integrity" has several important benefits. The Bible contrasts the benefits of integrity versus the pitfalls of crookedness and perversity.
Proverbs 10:9 -- Solomon wrote, "Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out." When we walk in integrity we live with security -- with confidence, assurance, refuge in God, and no fear of being "found out."
Psalm 25:21 -- David wrote, "Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You." "Preserve" means guard from dangers (Ref. 4). Integrity and uprightness guard us from dangers. The following attributes also guard us from dangers -- discretion (Proverbs 2:11), wisdom (Proverbs 4:5-6), and righteousness (Proverbs 13:6).
c. Blessing to your children
Proverbs 20:7 -- "A righteous person who walks in his integrity--How blessed are his sons after him." Parents today -- here is something you can do to improve the life of your children. Live a pure life, a life of integrity, a life that is a good example of duty to God and mankind (Ref. 5). Your life will bring blessings to your children during your lifetime and to succeeding generations after your death.
Apply. Are you walking in integrity? Is your life every day a good example for others to follow, especially your children?
Barnes' Notes on Psalm 1:1
5. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/pulpit/proverbs/20.htm - Pulpit Commentary on Proverbs 20:7
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