Psalm 101:1-4- I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will make music. I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I 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. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.
So, just the other day I found myself really aggravated. Life had been throwing curveballs at us for a while, so I was already a little irritable. Then a certain scenario just came along and was that little gust of wind that pushed me over the edge. I was tired from a long week of work, sore from remodeling my house, and in a hurry to make an appointment. I had this plan all lined up and… boom. Nothing went according to that plan. Letting my flesh take over I said, “I’m so frustrated! (and I may have even growled just a little…) But I’ll walk right out of here and no one will ever know. I’ll smile really big and go about my day… all the while keeping this buried.”
For a moment, I felt good about myself for that.
But the longer I thought about it, I felt convicted… challenged. There was a pressing discomfort that wouldn’t let me feel settled and okay with how I let myself think and feel. And, then I read this Scripture: “I will walk with integrity of heart within my house…”
While it is extremely important and expected of us to act and speak in an honorable way, Christ wants us to go a little further than that. Integrity means internal consistency or lack of corruption… We have to get our heart and mind in line with what He would want for us. That saying that all of us have heard at some point, “What they don’t know won’t hurt them…” is deceptive and misleading, to say the least. Keeping our actions in check while around others is necessary, but if we allow ourselves to build on a foundation of frustration, we will be the ones hurting; suffering from our own self-destruction.
Whenever I feel myself taking on an attitude or feelings of frustration that shouldn’t be lingering there, I remind myself to pray this little phrase found in Psalm 51:10: “Create in me a clean heart, Oh God, and renew a right spirit within me.” And the more I fix my mind on God and His goodness, the easier it is for me to dwell in peace. (Isaiah 26:3- You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee.)
This world keeps us busy every day we wake up. We have work, family, home responsibilities, friends, school activities, church functions, stalling cars, doctor appointments, bills that are due… etc, etc, etc. While none of those things are unworthy of our time and attention, when we focus on them too much, it doesn’t take long at all to feel picked and pulled apart and weighed down. It’s only natural for our flesh to speak up and say “Hey now! That’s enough. This is too much. It’s not fair. I’m too tired…”
We have to spend time with Him, delve into His word. We have to “ponder the way that is blameless…” There’s no other way for us to walk with integrity of heart…
I am fully aware that there will be days “life” just becomes too much. We will feel stressed. We’ll deal with frustration, sure. Still, we should let our prayers everyday reflect the desire to walk with integrity of heart. Direct our thoughts to Him and His way. Avoid anything that would be displeasing in His sight, or cause conflict in our life. It can be done, through Him. He gives us strength and power to live above the “norm” every day. We just have to grasp that truth and cling tightly to it.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me keep my heart and spirit in check with You. Align my attitude to reflect Your gentleness and selflessness. When my flesh rises up within me, remind me that I have the authority, through Your name, to put it back in its place. I can walk in the Spirit each day when I keep my mind on Your will. I love You, Lord. Walk closely to me today. In Your name, amen.