During the month of October, I tried to study a different Biblical virtue everyday and journal a few thoughts about what that virtue “looks like” in my life. Towards the end of the month, the verse for the day was Psalm 25:21 and I had two virtues to consider: “Honesty and Integrity”.
“May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you.”
Depending on the Bible translation you use, it might say “preserve” instead of protect but the original meaning of the word is “to guard” so the image that immediately came to mind was someone protected by bodyguards – one on each side. Flanked, if you will…
Now I don’t know one thing about driving cattle (shocked?) but I do know from watching cowboy movies that “flanked” cattle can be steered in the right direction. What would my days look like if I walked around fully aware of being guarded and protected by Honesty and Integrity?
Integrity has an interesting meaning – it’s not just adherence to moral principles though the explanation does incorporate that aspect of the word. It is also “the state of being whole, entire, undiminished, unimpaired, of sound condition”. The word picture that accompanies that definition is the “integrity of a ship’s hull”. That’s a profound image! Is my integrity going to hold up in rough waters?
A couple of Psalms back – Psalm 23 – we have another picture, that of the Lord as a Shepherd. There we see the shepherd leading while goodness and mercy follow all the days of our life! So now we are surrounded: The Lord in front, integrity and honesty on either side with goodness and mercy bringing up the rear!
I drew a little word picture in my journal that looks like this: (my artistic skills are severely lacking)
Lord Jesus Shepherd
Integrity (me) Honesty
This simple sketch made me think of a couple of other verses:
“You hem me in behind and before; You have laid your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:5
“Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.” Isaiah 58:8
With this kind of protection and loving support, my path can be secure. Looking to the right and left, there is moral guidance, God is leading out front, and if I need a reminder, I look back and see His Covenant reminder of Lovingkindness.
I don’t know about you, but knowing I have these traveling companions makes my journey ahead look a whole lot smoother. (ct)