But as for me, I walk in my integrity… (Ps. 26:11)
Let me call him Bob. He was running for political office. He had asked me to be his “spiritual advisor” during the long and difficult campaign. No matter what Bob did, he wasn’t able to close the slim lead his opponent had in the polls.
Bob had some important friends and advisors. When they saw he was going to have a difficult time winning the election, they asked if they could consult with a firm from Washington to present a way to win.
I was in the room when that firm made its pitch. They had conducted similar campaigns, and those candidates had often prevailed. The recommendations they proposed to Bob were extreme, personal, and ugly. They finished their proposal and said, “Bob, we believe you’ll win if you follow our plan.”
Bob looked at his wife, his father, some other advisors, and me. He asked for a private moment with a few of us. He then said he needed some time by himself.
After an hour, he returned to the group and said, “I can’t follow your plan. There are some folks I couldn’t face if I followed it. First, my wife and kids. If I followed your suggestions, what would I be saying about who I am as a man, husband, and dad? Second, myself. I’ve got to live with the man in the mirror. And finally, God. I can’t square what I would need to do with what I believe.”
The author of today’s psalm encourages us to walk with integrity—no matter what the challenges, losses, or costs, and no matter what others may think, plan, or expect.
When I think of the word integrity, I remember Bob saying he couldn’t follow the plan and face his family, himself, and God. Although Bob did lose the election, he didn’t lose his integrity, faith, heart, soul, and values.
Today I give you Bob. I pray his example will encourage you to “walk with integrity” as you face your own difficult decisions, complicated deals, complex choices, and tempting opportunities.
- If you have veered off the path from your own integrity, how did you feel? If indeed you did veer—and I’m not sure if I’ve ever met someone who didn’t—how did you get back to what you believe and how you try to live?
- For you to walk with integrity, what are the values that are most important for you to honor?
- Look at your life now. Are there any integrity gaps? That is, are there gaps between what you believe and how you live? If so, what are you going to do about them?