Read Psalm 26
Focus on verse 1
It would seem that I have been operating with a faulty understanding of what it means to be a person of integrity. My understanding of integrity would disqualify a person who committed adultery with another man’s wife and to cover up the affair had the woman’s husband murdered. Yet, here David states quite boldly “I have walked in integrity” and “I wash my hands in innocence”. This leads me to believe that integrity must be measured more by the intentions of the heart, than by the actions of the person.
The phrase “I have trusted the Lord without wavering” is the first clue that leads us in this direction. The second is in verses two and three where the test of integrity is described;
Prove me, O Lord, and try me;
test my heart and my mind.
For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
and I walk in your faithfulness.
Notice that the evidence of passing the test is not “for my actions are pure”. Rather the evidence is measured by the steadfast love of the Lord (despite our impure actions). Also the last phrase; “and I walk in YOUR faithfulness.” If it was about my actions it would read “and I walk in MY faithfulness”, but obviously David is aware that his faithfulness falls short, whereas God’s faithfulness passes the test of integrity.
There is no way that any person, regardless of how meticulously we attempt to follow God’s law and keep all His statues, can maintain a perfect record of integrity. Fortunately for us, God has provided a way through Christ – who does meet all the requirements of the integrity test – for us to be able to walk “in His righteousness” rather than our own. In this way we too can pass the integrity test and rightly say with David “I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted the in the Lord without wavering.”