If we desire to have true integrity of heart, we must not be shy about checking our motives with regularity. No matter how much we love God and desire to serve Him, we must be on guard against selfish ambitions that tend to creep into our hearts.
We have the tendency to compare our own journey with the journeys of others—and when it looks like we are not getting a fair shake, we begin to plot and scheme. Whenever our selfish ambitions take over, we say and do things that grieve God's heart. Instead of acting lovingly, we act selfishly. Our goal subtly switches from serving God to serving ourselves. If we are not careful, our purpose in life will become fulfilling our wants, regardless of the cost.
Living with integrity means we choose to live God's way over our own.
This scenario arises in many different facets of life. In relationships, in work environments, in churches, in families—we begin to seek to satisfy ourselves rather than serve others. When we suspect this attitude in our lives, we can ask ourselves some questions to shed light on our hearts. Are our actions vengeful? Are our hearts covetous and ambitious? Are we impatient with God's timing?
Loving others squelches such attitudes. Instead of trying to exact our revenge, we begin to show mercy and love. The ambitions in our hearts fade as we turn our focus back to our loving Savior, remembering we were "bought at a price" (1 Corinthians 6:20). As James reminds us: "Mercy triumphs over judgment" (James 2:13).
Living with integrity means we choose to live God's way over our own. We choose to live by His rules, which include putting others before ourselves.
Prayer: Lord, help me to imitate the humility of Christ, who gave His life for me. Help me to take up my cross and die to self, not looking to my own interests but to the interests of others. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Galatians 5:24).