In speaking of his faithful servant Job, God reveals what a life of integrity is.
Job 2:3: – “Yahweh said to the Accuser, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason.””
Out of all of the people in the Bible who are mentioned as doing what is right, Job is described by his wife, his friends, and even God himself as a man of integrity.
- Job 2:9: – “Then his wife said to him, “Do you still persist in your integrity? …”
- Job 4:1, 6: – “Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered: … “Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?”
In Yahweh’s honoring of Job as a man of integrity, we find one of the briefest and most succinct definitions of a life of integrity from Yahweh himself: “a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil.” At its most basic level, being a person of integrity involves at least two things: fearing God and turning away from evil.
To fear God is to recognize him for who he is as the Creator of all that exists. It is to respect and honor him by choosing to be obedient to what he has conveyed to us as his creatures. It is the fear of God that gives us the ability to gain wisdom so we can make the right choices.
Proverbs 1:7: – “The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Additionally, a life of integrity involves turning away from evil. This is known as a life of repentance, constantly viewing our choices in the context of the greater purpose of God among humanity. When we see or encounter the things that don’t honor God, it is our obligation to turn away from those things, to take a different path than perhaps the rest of those around us blindly follow.
Proverbs 4:26-27 – “Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established. Don’t turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil.”
A life of integrity it is formed around a pattern of walking in the light, not the darkness. The light that shines is the wisdom that God provides when we choose to recognize him as the Creator of all.
Ecclesiastes 2:13-14 – “And I realized that there is an advantage to wisdom over folly, like the advantage of light over darkness. The wise person has eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. …”
It is also a recognition that we shall have to answer for the choices we have made during this life, even as Job himself understood.
Job 31:6: “let me be weighed in a just balance, and let God know my integrity!”
Fear God and turn from evil. This is the life that believers are called to exemplify for themselves and for others. This hunger and thirst for doing what is right is what creates the purity of heart that God desires.
Matthew 5:6,8: ““Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. … “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
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