ODJ: the big “i”

October 28, 2014 

READ: Micah 7:1-20 

I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there (1 Chronicles 29:17).

I recently attended a meeting of leaders that could have become contentious and disastrous. It could have resulted in more fireworks than Chinese New Year! Thankfully, however, difficult issues were addressed with honesty and transparency. The big “I”—integrity—led individuals to speak words of truth, love and forgiveness.

Micah would have been pleased.

Possessing a name that means “who is like God”, the prophet longed for integrity—moral principles and uprightness—to return to God’s people, courts and country (Micah 7:1-3,11). As he looked around and saw only dishonesty and festering moral decay, he cried out, “I look to the LORD for help . . . [to] be my light” (vv.7-8).

Micah knew God’s chosen “people . . . special possession” (v.14) should reflect His righteousness, holiness and integrity (Proverbs 11:20). God accepts nothing less, which was something Peter addressed: “You must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. . . . Be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy” (1 Peter 1:14-15).

Integrity doesn’t come easy. For the people of Jerusalem and Samaria, it meant hearing Micah declare God’s judgement on them. They learned that they would be punished—pointing them to cleansing, “light” and “righteousness” (Micah 7:9). God’s love, compassion, forgiveness and faithfulness would ultimately prevail (vv.18-20).

If the big “I” isn’t being reflected in your words, character and decisions, come to God in repentance today. Receive His cleansing. Only then will you be able to show the honesty, moral uprightness and integrity of a true “special possession of God” (v.14). —Tom Felten

365-day plan› Acts 13:1-12

Read Proverbs 2:7 and consider what God provides for those who walk in integrity. 
How have you at times struggled with integrity? What do you need to do to walk in it with man and God today?