I was once employed by an upper level manager who I knew to be a member of a local Baptist church. I was not yet a follower of Christ, but knew enough to know what they were supposed to be. This man was respected around the company for his shrewd, hard line, get the deal done at all costs methodology. He was not someone you wanted to cross. I remember commenting to one of my co-workers one day something like “I thought he was supposed to be a Christian?” She replied, “Yes, but he knows where to draw the line.”
How about you? Is your relationship with God and the church segmented off from the way you carry out your vocation? Are there lines of demarcation in your mind and practice between your choices of entertainment and your Christianity? How about in how you think about money, or sex, or your children’s future?
By definition, integrity means there are no such lines. It is the the state of being whole and undivided. A Christian’s code of conduct is governed by the fear of the Lord, who sees and knows every thought and intention of your heart, so that you can experience the freedom of the children of God. His Holy Spirit will not be cordoned off or manipulated by you or anyone else, so you are only deceiving yourself by trying.
Nothing compares to the liberty and peace that accompanies an honest life lived in the presence of a holy God! Forgiven for past failures, ask God for grace to become the same man or woman in whatever context you are in, and whoever you are around. Hypocrisy actually does more damage to His glory in the world than when those called by His Name forsake Him altogether.
Erase the lines!
Good news, you are not the only one who has to wield an eraser! The Spirit of God is at work in you, showing you the walls you have built, and rearranging your thinking in accordance with the image of Christ. But God calls you to join the process, so that your union with Jesus will be experienced, both in your heart and in every area of your life. If you have read this far, I suspect He has already pointed out at least one line that needs to go. Let’s join the Holy Spirit in His work of making us like Jesus.
Romans 12:2 (ESV)
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.