May 12, 2017

Teachers of Integrity

Malachi 2:6; James 2:14-18

True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin.

—  Malachi 2:6

These words about the tribe of Levi tell us what an influence we can have when we have integrity. Integrity is when everything about us is in alignment. Levi’s actions were both righteous and peaceful, and they matched Levi’s words. The Levites not only avoided being dishonest; they sought to help others understand the truth.

Because the Levites’ words and actions were aligned, people were drawn away from sin. Integrity is powerfully attractive. A lack of integrity turns people away. In Malachi’s day, the priests—that is, the Levites—needed this reminder. God was saying that if they wanted to see God’s blessings again, they needed to live with integrity. Integrity would draw other people to be like them. And, more important, teaching the ways of God with integrity would ­realign them with God’s will and God’s favor.

Christians today struggle with integrity just as God’s people did in Malachi’s time. Sometimes we say the right things, but the way we live or the attitude we carry is not aligned with our words. Other times our be­havior is good, but our words might be cruel or vulgar.

Integrity would be impossible except for four little words in the example of Levi, “He walked with me.” Walking with the Lord is our only hope for aligning our words and actions.

Dear Lord, write your ways and words on our hearts. Make us so in tune with your kingdom that we honor you in all we do and say. Amen.

About the author — Scott DeVries

Scott DeVries has served as a church pastor and as a ministry ­coordinator in the Holland, Michigan, area. He currently works at ­facilitating connections between the more than twenty ministries and 1,100 churches of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. He has a passion for prayer, church organization, and studying the Scriptures in their original languages.

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