The American political cycle regularly reminds us how malleable people can be even about core principles. In fact, the flexibility of many candidates makes you wonder whether they have any core principles whatsoever. Seeking the broadest possible appeal, they flip and they flop, they retract and they dodge, they make bold statements and then claim they misspoke–all in an effort to convince people that they have the convictions necessary to do the right thing under the greatest strain and harshest circumstances. Americans have accepted this irony in the political process for years; however, some Christians have adopted the same attitude toward their own integrity by a kind of cultural osmosis, turning scriptural convictions into a game of whatever works in the moment. Regardless, such behavior remains ungodly because it is so un-God-like. Our Lord is holy in every way (1 Pet. 1:16), and He does not change (Mal. 3:6), whether to accommodate the whims of the moment or the trends of a generation. Our God exudes integrity and expects His children to as well.
In Psalm 15, David poses a question that essentially ponders who can have fellowship with God (Psa. 15:1). The answer that follows is both clear and unyielding in character.
- Fellowship with God demands walking in truth, working for truth, and speaking in concert with truth (Psa. 15:2).
- It requires keeping oneself from the politician’s folly of verbally attacking others, acting maliciously toward others, and accepting lies and attacks against others just because doing so is convenient (Psa. 15:3).
- A person living in fellowship with God does not honor, value, or even respect the machinations of the wicked but instead respects honorable living and upright character exhibited in reverence to God and integrity without question–even among those unknown and small in the eyes of men (Psa. 15:4).
- Such a one, faithful to God to the last, values truth and divine fellowship over the wealth of this world in every circumstance, from the personally profitable to the politically expedient (Psa. 15:5a-b).
- He has a reputation for godliness and for God specifically due to the consistency of His character and the unimpeachable quality of his integrity.
- Thus, rather than politicizing his opinions and putting his values up for bid, God’s child stands upon God’s Word with such conviction that “He who does these things shall never be moved” (Psa. 15:5c).
I realize it would be nice to see such integrity among those running for high office; however, it is more essential that we see this kind of integrity among those living for higher purpose. In fact, it is more essential for Christians to exhibit these characteristics on a daily basis in their interactions with one another and with their neighbors than it is for a politician. We should so stand that people recognize that the gospel is not for sale. We should carry ourselves with such commitment that others see that arguing for compromise would be a waste of time. We should live to make integrity our calling card. Politicians must bob and weave to find appeal because they are appealing to flawed men. Christians stand unmoved on the foundation of truth because they are appealing to a perfect God.