“Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide. Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.” (Psalm 26:1, 2)

Integrity is an easy concept to define but not so easy to maintain.   The Old Testament uses the word to indicate someone who is “whole” or “complete.”   It parallels the New Testament word “perfect” – never suggesting sinless perfection but always someone who “has it together” spiritual.

The person who possesses integrity is one who is free from blemish.   He need not shrink in fear when being questioned.   He need not fear cross-examination.   When confronted, the person who is lacking integrity often becomes argumentative and caustic.   When he acts outside his established standard, he finds himself without foundation, becoming defensive when asked for reasons concerning his actions.

Paul says, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient…” (1Cor. 6:12).   Paul spoke of the liberty one has in his salvation as well as the believer’s responsibility to act with expediency (with benefit and profit). Even though great authority and power may be granted to a leader, he must realize that when wielding that power he has a tremendous responsibility to do so with impunity – he must use that power and position for the benefit of those under him and for the good of the group.

Whenever any leader is suspected of abusing power or authority, his integrity is questioned and the respect others have for him is diminished. Those on the outside see hypocrisy, and those on the inside become frustrated.   The organization he leads is in jeopardy.

Each of us should individually examine our lives thoroughly and often.   It is enough to open God’s Word and view its pages to see our own defects.   The Word is the mirror through which we must make self-examination – through which we see our true self.

As we open God’s Word, we should place ourselves...