There are two forces at work in the world today: 1) God is putting things together, 2) sin is tearing things apart.
“That in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are in earth—in Him.” Ephesians 1:10
God is putting things together and He cannot accept neutrality.
“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” Luke 11:23
Through the work of Christ, we are being made whole. The problem is that we live in a world that is fractured and fragmented and I’m not just speaking of culture – I’m speaking of individuals. The work of satan is to foster doubt, unbelief, hatred, and a lack of trust. Where these items are promoted and accepted, people become fragmented: they live and make decisions based upon selfishness, emotion, and fear. This “fragmentation” leads to instability; far away from the wholeness Jesus died to procure for us.
Integrity is a one word definition of the wholeness of Jesus.
Integrity – “wholeness,” “entireness,” “completeness”
Root word is “integer” – “untouched,” “intact,” “entire”
In math we have integers, which are whole numbers and fractions which are partials. Integrity is to the individual what health is to the body. People with integrity are “put together” and things work as they have been designed/created to work.
Jesus described integrity in Matthew 6:21-24:
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.”
The person with integrity has a single outlook on life that keeps life going in the right direction. After all, outlook determines outcome.
To attempt to serve two masters is to become a fractional person, and a fractional person doesn’t possess integrity!
A “single eye” or vision for living lets in light while a “double eye” or “double vision” – two outlooks on life and two masters – creates darkness within.
1 John 1:5-6: “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”
We know the danger of being “double-minded” spoken of in the book of James, chapter 1, verse 8. Double-mindedness leads to instability as a person; we move back and forth between trust in God and trust in other things and the troubling promise for that person is: “let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.”
How does the moral and spiritual deterioration take place that leads to a lack of integrity?
Steps to losing your integrity:
- Hypocrisy – lying to other people about your fellowship with the Lord.
There are many ways we can do this: preaching what we don’t practice, praying things we don’t mean, pretending to do what we don’t do. Justifying wrong leads to the same outcome as lying, so watch out for that as well.
But, it gets worse:
1 John 1:8: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
- Duplicity – lying to ourselves and believing it.
We you arrive at this place, you’re no longer pretending, you are trying to lie to God, and in doing so, making God to be a liar! At this point, we can read God’s word and it has no affect because the light in us has turned into darkness! Self deception is the worst disease to attack humankind. In this scenario, the lie has become the “truth” and the truth has become the “lie”.
- Apostasy – making God out to be a liar.
In this instance, hypocrisy has become duplicity and duplicity has become apostasy and it started with a double mind! In this instance, the lie has become the truth to us and the light that we claim to have has become darkness. The scary part is that this can happen while a person appears to maintain a faithful relationship with God! When the crash does come, the person acts surprised and will even defend themselves against their accusers. The light has become darkness.
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Matthew 7:21-23
Saying the right words, carrying the right credentials, giving the right sermons from the right texts, helping people with their problems, and even performing miracles can never take the place of doing the will of God.
You cannot lose your integrity unless you become double-minded. Keep your attention focused on Christ and let the evidence be found in total obedience to His Word. Those with single vision will find the wholeness that they have so desperately needed.