(I know. Perhaps placing “authentic” in front of “integrity” seems a bit redundant. But I like the sound of it…!)
It means our actions match our beliefs – regardless of circumstances, situations, people we’re with, even when we’re alone. Integrity basically means that we live a life that shows we ARE who we say we ARE.
Here’s what Merriam Webster has to say about integrity:
Integrity: The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness.
I like it.
But HERE’S what Jesus has to say about integrity:
You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world. Matthew 5:8, MSG
I LOVE it. As in TOTALLY LOVE IT.
Friends, this beatitude? Well, it’s all about INTEGRITY .
To help your outsides match the insides. To authentically be the person God created you to be, in all situations, all circumstances, and with all people. And to experience God on the inside AND the out.
Why? Well, so that Jesus would see you and say, “She’s the real deal; she’s My girl through and through.”
So that you would be the kind of person other people see and be drawn where that peace, joy, and love truly comes from.
So that you would immerse myself in what He teaches and seriously BE those hands and feet we’re always spouting off about in the places and spaces in which He intends for me.
So that you keep the boundaries God helps us to set through prayerful conversations with Him, and to avoid giving in when the world (or your fickle flesh) tells you “you need” to bend a little for fame, attention, glory, or even to avoid the dreaded “guilt of saying NO” so instead you say yes to something you never wanted to do in the first place.
Wayne Dwyer once said something like, “What do you get when you squeeze an orange? Orange juice. Because whenever you are squeezed, what’s truly inside is what has to come out.”
The word translated as pure is the Greek word tahor. This word means to be 100% clean or pure. It was often used to describe precious metals – NOT alloys, which have other metals mixed in with them, and are therefore (regardless of how lovely) not pure. Jesus KNEW his disciples would see this connection. Jesus knew his disciples would make a connection to Pharisees and their adherence to many rituals that cleanse the external body, but have nothing to do with purifying the soul.
The overriding theme is simple, authentic, PURE Godly integrity and purity of the heart, so that we would be able to experience God with the eyes of our heart. This helps us to integrate simple, scripture-based ways of balancing the demands of our days with the desires of our souls. Calibrating what we can handle to what God has called us to do. Developing an integrity about ourselves we’ve been craving but, until now, have unable to name or even put our finger on.
Yes, it means being people who do what we say we are going to do and demonstrating that to the outside world. But is ALSO means getting our heart right – eliminating the toxins, and guarding it to keep it pure.
Do you believe that gossiping is wrong? Well then, walk away when someone begins to do so. Do you believe in random acts of kindness? Well then, start doing some! Do you believe in strengthening your personal relationship with Christ? Well then, start developing it through prayer, worship, reading scripture, and engaging in any one of a thousand ways we can experience Him!
“Few things are more infectious than a godly lifestyle. The people you rub shoulders with everyday need that kind of challenge. Not prudish. Not preachy. Just cracker jack clean living. Just honest to goodness, bone – deep, non-hypocritical integrity.” ~ Chuck Swindoll
YES!!!! That’s what I’m going for. How about you?
(How could you NOT love a quote about “crack jack clean living”?! COME ON.)
So, how can we rewrite this beatitudinally?! What about this:
Blessed are those whose hearts are pure gold, shining inside and out; for the will always enjoy the mighty, loving, and holy gaze of God.
Following along with us online? Click here and scroll down to get your homework for Week 9! Need some tunes to keep you going? Click here to listen to Nichole Nordeman’s song, “Something Out of Me”! Have a great week!
Peace, love, and joy!
Up Next Week: Peace, Baby!