ODJ: Straight Up

June 23, 2016 

READ: Psalm 36:1-12  

Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you; give justice to those with honest hearts (v.10).

Carefully lifting each piece of paper, I sorted the stacks on my desk—again. I searched through file drawers, bookcases, computer folders and email messages while praying fervently that the missing item would be found. Disappointed and frustrated, I took a deep breath and informed my supervisor before emailing the originator of the document for another copy. My prayers were answered in an unexpected fashion when I received a message in reply letting me know that the item hadn’t yet been sent to me!

Few people enjoy failure, but even fewer relish admitting their deficiencies. Fear of punishment, or even distaste for disappointing others, can drive us to less-than-honest responses when we’ve missed the mark. In the moment, we wrongfully believe we can deflect the consequences by spinning the information. But practising deception only leads us into greater sin and eventual ruin. Thriving in hidden places, “Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts” (Psalm 36:1). Instead of believing our circumstances are the litmus test for our behaviour, however, it’s vital we grasp that God is “the fountain of life, the light by which we see” (v.9).

The Lord’s presence and all-knowing ways call us to integrity, but not because we fear His finding out our every sin like a cosmic police officer. Instead, we can live out the reality of His good and “unfailing love” by His strength (vv.5-6,10). Because He’s a God who rewards and also desires to bless His people, “He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity” (Proverbs 2:7). May we live ’straight-up’ lives for Him—empowered by His powerful and compassionate ways.

—Regina Franklin

365-day plan: Luke 4:16-30

Read Proverbs 11:1-10 to see the contrast between the godly and those who rely on deception for their wellbeing. 
Is there a current situation in your life where you’ve been less than honest? What will you do to rectify it? To what extent does our view of God affect whether or not we walk in integrity?