My heart is tender today, and this is a good thing. Spiritual growth depends on keeping the heart soft and tender and being honest with oneself about one’s heart.
I came across this article on integrity by Jack Hayford. It’s worth reading (http://www.foursquare.org/news/article/integrity_of_heart). I’ve outlined some of his points:
- Integrity is a wholeness of heart before God.
- Integrity in the Old Testament (the word tom) means “complete,” like a whole number, an integer.
- Integrity is not compromised by personal dishonesty (refusing to discuss things with my own mind or conscience).
- Integrity is that which keeps your heart soft, sensitive and responsive. It is absolute honesty with God and yourself.
- Integrity, according to the study principle of “first usage” in scripture, is about being honest with ourselves and with God.
- Integrity is the inner umpire of the heart. It is our protection, our spiritual armor.
- Integrity is the key to knowing God intimately. We know God through our heart. He knows us through our heart. All the other means of knowledge and knowing are important, but the heart is the key.
- Integrity allows us to have communion with others.
Hayford describes an exciting discovery he made as he studied God’s word on “integrity” (noted in the 6th point). Honesty with our heart is a shield of armor. He says the word “Thummim” is the plural of the word “integrity” in the Old Testament. He describes this as an “umpire in the heart that tells you yea or nay.” He says:
Integrity is the Thummim of the present day for the priest of God, which are all the people of God. There is one High Priest–his name is Jesus–and the rest of us are priests under his care, under his leadership. And all of us have been given a breastplate of righteousness. That’s what it says in Ephesians 6, “the breastplate of righteousness.” I understand what that is now. We have a protection, an arming, when we’re honest with our hearts.
Integrity – wholeness of heart – is our protection.