Image of our home_by Ashley Lauren

“The Bible says in Matthew 5:8,

“God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God”.

To “see God” means to experience the presence of God. Believers who have a pure heart get to feel the power of God. They get to know the purpose of God for their lives. They get to live in the peace of God. They experience the pardon of God.

Do you want to be one of those people? We don’t talk a lot these days about being pure in heart, but we do use the word “integrity.” To have integrity does not mean you are perfect, because if it did, none of us would have it!

So what does it mean to have integrity?

Integrity is wholeness.

A lot of people think of their life like a pie, and the different parts of their life are the pieces of the pie. This slice of the pie is my career. This is my work life. This is my spiritual life. This is my family life. That one is my social life. Then over here is my secret life – my compulsions, addictions, and the things nobody else knows about.

If you segment your life like that, you lack integrity, because your life is not a whole. Integrity means you’re the same person with everybody, in your speech, actions, and motives, no matter which part of life you’re dealing with.

Integrity is authenticity.

During plays in ancient Greek culture, there was one guy who would play multiple roles. He would come on stage wearing a mask and then go backstage to put on a different mask to play another role. This person was called the “hupokrites,” and it’s where we get the word “hypocrite.”

When you wear masks so that you appear one way in front of some people and another way for others, it shows a lack of authenticity. God wants you to be exactly who he made you to be, no matter who is watching.

Integrity is unmixed motivation.

It means you do the right thing, and you do it for the right reason. You have unmixed motivation and pure motives. You’re sincere and straightforward in every area of your life and with all people. You pray to talk to God and not to impress other people.

We’re interested in image, but God is interested in integrity. We’re interested in reputation, but God is interested in character. Reputation is what everybody thinks you are. Integrity is what you really are when you’re all alone with God.

God blesses those who have integrity. They get to be the friends of God.

Proverbs 11:20 says,

“The LORD detests people with crooked hearts, but he delights in those with integrity”

(message taken from “Keys to a Blessed Life” – YouVersion)

I have to admit, I’ve struggled with this in a lot of ways. I am naturally a “people-pleaser.” I want everyone to be happy, and to an extent I’ll be sure to go out of my way to make it happen. Which, isn’t always a bad thing, it’s just bad when you lose yourself in the process. When you put on the “mask” for one person, and then have a completely different one with another person or conversation. I’ve gotten a lot better in this area because I truly do want to be real and authentic, and I’ve tried to surround myself with people who are 100% themselves no matter who they are talking to, or where they are. It’s such an incredible, contagious quality and one that you’ve got to work at! At least, I do.

I would say I probably struggled more with this in high school, but also in our move to Tulsa. When you move to a completely new place, you are totally starting over. It’s awesome and sometimes frightening when I would catch myself getting caught up in the “reputation” side of it instead of integrity.

I truly just want to be myself in all situations, and sometimes that’s more difficult when the pressure is high or if you’re just not even feeling like it. Regardless, the Lord delights in those with integrity, and I want to be one of those people. I want to be real.