ARE YOU CLOSE TO GOD?
Have you considered the type of person who is close to God? David pondered that question in Psalm 15:
O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? — Psalm 15:1
Psalm 15 is a didactic Psalm revealing the type of person who is close to God. The next verse describes the character of a righteous person:
He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. — Psalm 15:2
Positively, we see that a righteous person walks in integrity. The word integrity is the Hebrew word that conveys the sense of being complete, full, or perfect. Integrity implies total congruence between who we are and what we do. David then revealed what a righteous person does not do:
He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; — Psalm 15:3
The next verse describes the cost of being a righteous person. Several years ago a colleague came to me with a dilemma. He had given his boss a verbal agreement that he would remain at his current ministry. The following day he received a job offer with a significant increase in pay that would alleviate some of the financial pressure that he and his wife were facing. He asked me for advice and I told him that I will pray for his situation and meet tomorrow. The next day I showed him the following verse:
In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; he swears to his own hurt and does not change; — Psalm 15:4
A person of integrity does what is right, not what is easy. Your character is more important than any momentary gain. We need to tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. You must pay the price to be a person of integrity. This involves speaking the truth in love. Solomon revealed the value walking in integrity:
A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, favor is better than silver and gold. — Proverbs 22:1
A person of integrity can trust God’s protection and does not seek financial gain at the expense of others. You must realize that you can lose in a moment, what it took a lifetime to develop. There is no such thing as a momentary lapse in integrity. The one who acts in integrity can have great confidence:
He does not put out his money at interest, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken. — Psalm 15:5
For the person who trusts God, the concept of not being shaken is a fairly common theme in the Psalms. We must realize that if we have integrity, nothing else matters and, conversely, if we don’t have integrity, nothing else matters. May we be people who are close to God.
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