I want to take a closer look at Psalm 101 today.
Do you live with integrity? Is your private life consistent with your public life? Are you who you say you are?
This psalm is entitled, “I will walk with integrity” in the ESV translation that I use. This psalm is said to be a psalm of David, possibly on his “coronation” day, which is the day a king or queen is officially crowned.
So, if David is being crowned as king, he is making a declaration and commitment of what kind of king he is going to be. His declaration and commitments are incredible!
In verse 1, he starts off by saying, “I will sing of steadfast love and justice to you O Lord…” I love that David’s first commitment as king is one who who will praise the Lord for His steadfast love.
Psalm 101: 1-8
1I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
to you, O Lord, I will make music.
2I will ponder the way that is blameless.
Oh when will you come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart
within my house;
3I will not set before my eyes
anything that is worthless.
I hate the work of those who fall away;
it shall not cling to me.
4 A perverse heart shall be far from me;
I will know nothing of evil.
5Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly
I will destroy.
Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart
I will not endure.
6I will look with favor on the faithful in the land,
that they may dwell with me;
he who walks in the way that is blameless
shall minister to me.
7No one who practices deceit
shall dwell in my house;
no one who utters lies
shall continue before my eyes.
8 Morning by morning I will destroy
all the wicked in the land,
cutting off all the evildoers
from the city of the Lord.
Verses 2-5 deal with his personal life. He will think about the way that is blameless, he will walk with integrity, (verse 2, he will not set anything impure or worthless before his eyes, he will hate what is evil and those who work in evil dealings, (verse 3)and he refuses to have a perverse heart.(verse 4).
Then verses 5-8 deal with his leadership publicly. He commits to not tolerate gossip, and pridefulness (verse 5). He will favor faithfulness, and those who also walk with integrity and are blameless (verse 6). He makes a commitment to not let his inner circle, and those who are closest to him be people that have different values, and who are deceitful. (verse 7). And finally, he makes a commitment to protect those he leads from people who are corrupt (verse 8).
So, when we come to a psalm like this, we can tend to think that it has no relevance to us because we are not kings. But I want you to think about your own life. Everyone has a private and personal life and everyone as an outer life, or a sphere of influence. You have a place where you work, you have the place where you live and the neighbors around you, you have the places you dine, or visit, you have friends and family! Every single one of us has influence on people around us. My question to you is have you determined/committed yourself to being a person who lives with integrity and influence others for the glory of God?
I think part of the problem is that a lot of time we aren’t intentional with the influence that God has given us. Look at how intentional David is. He says, “I WILL walk with integrity…I WILL not set before my eyes….I WILL NOT endure gossip, slander.”
Have you made a commitment to being a person of integrity? Integrity does not mean being perfect; it means being consistent. A lot of people use this as an excuse to not even try to walk in obedience or integrity. They say, “Everyone sins” or “No one is perfect.” And this is true….but look at the motivation of Davids heart in verse 1 again. It is because of God’s steadfast love and justice that drives him to be a leader, a person of influence with integrity! It’s not about being perfect or sinless, it’s about living out a life of integrity for God’s glory and to influence other for the glory of God.
We strive as believers to walk with integrity, and blamelessness, for the glory of God and for the influence of others for God’s glory!
It might take watching who you let into your inner circle of friends who influence you. David makes a commitment in verse 7 that no one who practices deceit will dwell in my house. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t love people who are sinners, but it does mean he is careful as to who he lets close to him. You have heard the saying, “Bad company corrupts good morals.” It’s true – if you want to be a person of integrity and good character, then watch who you let close to you. Let people who love the Lord, and walk with integrity, close to you!
Will you make a commitment today to be a person of integrity? To consider the way of the blameless, to not put impure things before your eyes, to surround yourself with people who are like minded, and to influence others for the glory of God?
I’ll leave you with a quote, “Conduct depends on character, and character is shaped by ULTIMATE COMMITMENT.”