As I finished up reading through 1 Chronicles in my Bible this morning, I ran across this verse “I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity.”-1 Chronicles 29:17 (NIV).
I started thinking: what does it mean to have integrity and why does God look at the heart in order to see it? Turns out, most definitions of integrity define it as a wholeness, unity, adherence to moral principle. In 1 Chronicles 29, David and many of the leaders of his people are giving materials that will be used by Solomon to build the temple. David is rejoicing that he sees his leaders giving willingly and with an honest intent to glorify God. Seeing people giving up some of their possessions to God is one thing, knowing their motives for giving is another. God looks at the motives to see if our actions are arising out of worship or out of promoting our image to those around us. It’s like a student reading a book in a crowd of people. Is the student intent on reading the book in order to gain knowledge or are they trying to appear studious without really caring about what the book says? We can almost never tell by just looking at the student.
When we look at the Eiffel Tower, we can see what supports it and keeps it standing tall. When we look at a tree on the other hand, we see a trunk, branches and leaves. We don’t see the roots or what is inside of the trunk. We can’t tell by looking at it whether it is rotten or not because its support is hidden from us. People are like trees. Other people can look at us and see the outside of us but they can’t see what supports us. God sees us like mini Eiffel Towers. He can see through our projected image and look at what truly supports us: our motives. He can look at that and tell whether our actions come from honest motives or whether they come from us trying to enhance our external image.
|The Way God sees us|
|The Way Man sees us|
If I want to have integrity I have to be the same person inside and out. If I’m not, I’m a rotting tree. If I have integrity, I will have the supports inside of me that lead me to take actions that are pleasing to God.