Every year for the Christian Athletic Association soccer season I like to pick a fundamental spiritual principle that we can focus on as we relate to the kids and to one another as coaches and referees. This year I think the concept of “Integrity” would be appropriate.
Simple Definition: “soundness of moral principle and character; uprightness; honesty”
Our nation was built on a foundation of people of Integrity. But I am afraid that our kids are growing up in a culture where the concept of Integrity has been so abused and hidden that it is difficult to either find or recognize.
(Context = President Bill Clinton scandals)
Our political leaders have abused this fundamental principle and become an embarrassment in many cases. In some instances, our church leaders have abused this principle. But Integrity cannot be destroyed. It is a gift from God that comes by grace thru faith along with the new life that is ours in union with Jesus Christ. Think of it like a diamond that has been buried in the mud. Once you wash it off and display it, the brilliance still shines as brightly as ever. Think of Integrity as the essence of a life that pleases God.
We have the opportunity to model Integrity before the kids that participate in CAA this season — and they desparately need some good role models.
Psalm 15 is very short — only 5 verses — but it speaks to this issue of Integrity:
I. (:1) QUESTION: WHO HAS THE PRIVILEGE OF CLOSE FELLOWSHIP WITH A HOLY GOD?
“O Lord, who may abide in Thy tent?
Who may dwell on Thy holy hill?
A. Abide in Thy tent
B. Dwell on Thy holy hill
II. (:2) GENERAL ANSWER: One who is characterized by:
“He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,
And speaks truth in his heart.”
A. Integrity — Internal Character
B. Righteousness — Outward Deeds
C. Truth — Thoughts and Speech
III. (:3-5) SPECIFIC EXAMPLES:
A. Integrity of Speech (:3)
“He does not slander with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;”
1. No Slander
2. No Meanness (to his neighbor)
3. No Gossip (hurting a friend)
B. Integrity of Fellowship (:4a)
“In whose eyes a reprobate is despised,
But who honors those who fear the Lord;”
1. Rejects a Reprobate
2. Honors those who fear the Lord
cf. 1 John 2:15-17; 2 Cor. 6:14-18
C. Integrity of Commitment (:4b)
“He swears to his own hurt, and does not change;”
He keeps his word — even when it costs him something
D. Integrity of Finances (:5a)
“He does not put out his money at interest,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.”
1. No Exploitation
2. No Dishonesty
Bribes, extortion, etc.
“He who does these things will never be shaken”