God’s People Should Be Honorable

July 4, 2013

God’s People Should Be Honorable

            It seems like we no sooner get to know someone before we begin to find some faults in him.  It is certain that no one is perfect, but the more faults we have the more they stain our image.  We lack what the Bible calls “integrity.” “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee” (Psalm 25:21). The word “integrity”means completeness; not lacking in qualities that make us an honorable person.  The one with integrity has everything we like to find in a person.

Honorableness isn’t something we are born with.  Fortunate are those whose parents corrected them and taught them to do right.  They enter adult life with a measure of honorableness engrained in them.  That doesn’t mean they will always do what is right because they still have a sin nature.

Honorableness, or integrity, results from having convictions about what is right and wrong.  It is as though we have made a covenant with ourselves saying, “This is something   I will or will not do.” Therefore, when we are faced with the temptation to do something that we shouldn’t, we don’t have to struggle with it.  We have already made up our mind to do right.  Proverbs 11:3 says, “The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.”

The desire to be honorable should come from our heart.  I Kings 9:4 says, “And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments.”  In Job there are two verses that tell us that integrity is something we can lose if we aren’t careful.  They are Job 2:3 and 9.  “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.” “Then said his wife unto him, dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.”

We can increase our honorableness by making a covenant with the members of our body.

  • A covenant with our lips:  “My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit” (Job 27:4).
  • A covenant with our eyes: “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me” (Psalm 101:3).
  • A covenant with our hands:  “She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy” (Proverbs 31:19-20).
  • A covenant with our feet:  “I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word” (Psalm 119:101).

Don’t neglect honorableness.  It’s something you need.  It is something you want to find in others, and they want to find it in you.

In what you have read thus far in this article, you know that honorableness speaks of completeness.  We move on to further develop what is meant by that.  In the Christian life there is a fine line between doing something because you want to, and doing something because you feel obligated to do it.  We should do right, but if we don’t have a desire to do it, it is boring and tiring.  The person with integrity enjoys doing it because he wants to do it.

A lack of desire is most often accompanied by a lack of completion.  Therefore there needs to be in us a desire to do what we should.  Philippians 2:13 says that God is capable of producing that desire in us.  “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

What gives a high school student a desire to get good grades?  It may be the certainty that his parents will punish him if he doesn’t.  Wouldn’t it be better if he had a higher motive?  We can have motives that are both negative and positive.  Both may be legitimate, but, in most cases, the positive is the more noble.

If Christians aren’t motivated, they find it difficult to live the Christian life.  There is no joy in it.  That’s why Solomon said in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” If our relationship with God gets cold, our willpower is enfeebled.  The solution for that is found in the words of Solomon in Proverbs 23:26.  “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.”

It’s easy to give in to our emotions.  If we do, we yield to that which gives us the most satisfaction. Our carnal nature often dictates.  Some choose their religion based on the way it appeals to their emotions.  It is a selfish motive.  They are willing to serve God as long as it is:

  • Exciting
  • It makes them feel good about themselves
  • It gives them satisfaction

Such people are almost certain to be lacking in integrity.  If what is right and good doesn’t give them emotional satisfaction, they neglect it or don’t do it.

The other extreme is to put emphasis on completing with one’s obligation even though their heart isn’t in it.  It becomes mechanical.  The only satisfaction they receive is the pride they take in their abnegation.  They commend themselves for having completed with their obligation even though they didn’t want to.

There are many who are in a certain religion because they received it from their parents.  Unfortunately, their heart isn’t in it.  They would feel guilty about leaving it.  They complete what they feel is their obligation, but they aren’t doing it for God because their heart isn’t in it.  It could be that the belief their parents passed on to them should be theirs but they haven’t put their faith and Trust in Christ for the salvation their parents have.  In some cases the religion they received from their parents is an empty dead religion that they should leave and turn to God for the salvation of their souls.

If one isn’t a believer, it’s hard for him or her to have equilibrium in this matter.  For the Christian, the solution is in spending time each day in fellowship with God.  That’s done by reading the Bible and praying every day.  If we neglect our time with God our hearts grow cold and we gravitate to the extreme of doing what we should out of obligation.  God never asks us to do the impossible.  By means of his Word he has provided all we need to be honorable.  In Ephesians 4:11-13 we read “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

If you are saved, and love the Lord, then I know you will want to be honorable.  May God help you to be a child of God that brings praise to his name.

Our E-mail address is rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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