January 22, 2014


Nehemiah 7:1-3

Hananiah … was a man of integrity and feared God more than most people do.
—Nehemiah 7:2


The news media churn out stories on all kinds of people doing bad things. Politicians are accused of taking bribes and hiring prostitutes. Priests are suspected of abusing children. Are there any people of integrity any more? What does a person of integrity look like?

Nehemiah knew some people that he could trust to do the right thing. He had observed Hananiah, for example, in his work as commander of the citadel. Nehemiah had seen Hananiah’s spiritual life in action, giving evidence of godly, discerning leadership and a heart willing to serve the Lord. Hananiah “feared God more than most people do.”

In other words, his everyday life showed great respect for God as his King. He accepted that he was small and God was sover-eign over his life.

That’s what integrity looks like.

Jesus is our model of integrity. His life matched his character and being. Maybe that’s why people flocked to him; he was different from the teachers of the law and other religious leaders. Jesus was who he was, inside and out. Integrity, for Jesus, was to show what God was like—truth and grace wrapped into a human package.

Jesus wants us to be people of integrity. Does your inner life of patience, goodness, and self-control flow outward into deeds and words that bless others? Ask Jesus to fill your life with his holy character.

Dear Jesus, give me a heart and mind that truly follow your will and way. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!