I once heard that integrity is what you are when no one is looking. Today’s Bible reading* talks about David’s unstoppable integrity. For years Saul and his armies pursued David and killed many of his men. And yet, when Saul and Jonathan died, David mourned their deaths. Those who brought news of finishing off Saul or killing his other son Ish-bosheth, David ordered his men to slay the killers. David was seriously dedicated to not touch God’s anointed king, Saul.
Integrity isn’t just who you are when no one is looking. It’s also who you are when everyone is looking. David wasn’t just a man after God’s heart. (1 Samuel 13:14) But because he was a man after God’s heart, he was also a man of integrity. David was the same when everyone was looking and when no one was looking. And because of his integrity, he gained the respect of his followers as well as the followers of Saul. That’s what a good leader does.
How would you define integrity? How do you measure up to that definition? Are you a man or woman of integrity? Yes, we are all fallen creatures and are affected by The Fall to the root of our being. But like David, we can be concerned about the things that God is concerned about.
Occasionally we get wrapped up in our own little worlds. Things happen around us that don’t catch our attention. But oftentimes God is deeply concerned about those things. Maybe it’s a hurting person. Maybe it’s an injustice. Spend a few minutes asking God to break your heart over things that break His heart. And ask him to make you a person after His own heart.
Note: Although he was a man after God’s own heart and therefore a man of integrity, David was still a man who struggled with sin… just like you and me. We’ll see a glaring example of David’s depravity later, but I felt that I needed to point this out amid my very positive comments about him today.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
2 Samuel 1
2 Samuel 2
2 Samuel 3
2 Samuel 4