Last week, my husband's parents came and visited us for a bit. Their lives have been marked by integrity, and the generations after them have been blessed. As I've was thinking about how God has used their integrity, I read Psalm 101. In this delightful short psalm, David gives us very specific choices we can make to live a life of integrity.
3 Heart Choices You Can Make to Live a Life of Integrity:
Praise God for His love and goodness continually.
"I will sing of mercy and justice; to You, O Lord, I will sing" (Ps. 101:1).
The Hebrew word for "praise" that's used here speaks to a celebration, praising God with song. Really, every day should be a celebration of God's amazing love and goodness. What if you began every day by thanking God and praising Him for His love and goodness in your life? My guess is that you would live a more positive life, and you'd be on your way to a life of integrity. When we focus on God's love rather than on all the things that go wrong in life, we're more likely to make positive decisions. The next time you're tempted to complain or gripe about something, shift your focus to God's faithful love. Watch how your spirit grows more joyful almost instantly.
Be careful what you set your sights on.
"I will set no wicked thing before my eyes" (Ps. 101:3a).
Don't get me wrong, I love that we live in the age of the internet. We can research any topic instantly. But we need to be careful what we set our sights on. We need a heart of discernment with the media. Sometimes even the news is so graphic and argumentative that we need to shut it off. When you're watching, ask yourself, "Is this helping me follow Jesus more closely, or is it creating anxiety, worry, fear or lust in me?"
Walk away from gossip and dissention.
"Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate" (Ps. 101:5, NIV).
It's so easy—you're having coffee with friends, and one friend starts to "share" how frustrated they are with a different acquaintance. They need to process. So you listen, and soon you're drawn in to something more deadly than just processing a frustration. Here's the thing: We're called to avoid having any part in slander.
So what do you do? You could say something positive and walk away. You could change the topic. Or you could say, "I'm not comfortable cutting that person down. I don't have all the facts, and I don't want to be guilty of gossip."
Friend, these are sometimes hard choices. It may seem that they're not very big choices, and what do they really matter? But they do matter. By making choices after God's own heart, one choice after another, you'll be building a life of integrity. And in the end, your integrity matters greatly!
Lord, my desire is to live a life of integrity that honors you and others. Help me to make choices of the heart that lead to living a life that is above reproach. I want to honor you even in the small decisions of my life.
Becky Harling, an author, certified speaker, leadership coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team, is an energetic and motivational international speaker inspiring audiences to overcome their greatest life challenges and reach their full God-given potential. Her most recent book is How to Listen So People Will Talk. Her husband, Steve Harling, is the president of Reach Beyond, a nonprofit organization seeking to be the voice and hands of Jesus around the world. Connect with Becky at beckyharling.com, Facebook or Twitter.
This article originally appeared at beckyharling.com.
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