If we’re being honest with ourselves, in the list of most appealing Christian character qualities, integrity probably lands somewhere at the bottom. Hard work? OK, that generally gets noticed by other people and rewarded. Patience? Well, the more patient you are, the less mad you are, so patience is good too. But people of integrity? They sound like the playground tattletales.
Integrity means consistently living out your beliefs. It means honesty. Humility. Laying down your life for Christ. Putting yourself last. Peacemaking. When we’re constantly looking out for ourselves, none of these characteristics sounds very appealing. But the Bible says the Lord hates people who look out for themselves all the time. The Lord loves honesty, humility, and peace. As people who love the Lord, we should love the things He loves. Even if it’s not easy or it means letting someone else be number one.
When we turn these verses around on ourselves, we see the gospel. That list of things God hates? We’ve done every single one of those things. God hasn’t done any of them. Ever. And yet God has promised us a reward in heaven – a reward none of us deserve. God put us before Himself and makes an eternal difference in our lives.