I’m going to devote this blog to the truths of Psalm 119 beginning today. I may go back and forth on other topics, but for the most part, I want to write through this Psalm as a series. The primary focus on this Psalm is God’s Holy Word. I don’t give any accordance with numbers in the bible, but if we live by the truths of Psalm 119, 911 or putting out fires, will be limited greatly in our lives. Sometimes we may have to do a 180 degree turn in our lives, so our possible 911’s become 119’s instead of 911’s.
Psalm 119:1-8: Aleph
Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the LORD. Joyful are those who obey his laws
and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil,
and they walk only in his paths. You have charged us
to keep your commandments carefully. Oh, that my actions would consistently
reflect your decrees! Then I will not be ashamed
when I compare my life with your commands. As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! I will obey your decrees.
Please don’t give up on me!
O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive! ~Sir Walter Scott
The great poet and author Sir Walter Scott coined that popular truthful phrase we still use today. If you think about the meaning of it, you think of a spider web. A spider’s web is very neat and organized the way it’s woven. A tangled web is a mess, which is exactly what deceit will get you. One lie can lead to many lies to make that first lie seem true. Then when it finally comes down to it, you can be trapped in the first lie. The truth eventually finds it’s way out into the open. As I have been blogging about being intentional, we do have the choice on having integrity. Sometimes the choice to be honest can cost a relationship or a friendship and can even strain a family. Being brutally honest is not a good thing at all. Tact is something we should consider when sharing a hard truth. Sharing the truth in love is the best way possible to get across a tough truth. It still may have a negative response, but at least you got your point across in a loving way instead of an angry hurtful way. Sometimes the initial response is anger, then when that person has time to think about it will continue the relationship.
The first verse says it all; joyful are those that are honest. Happiness is not joy, joy is an attitude and a choice we make as well. There is always joy in the journey no matter what you may be going through. You just have to make the choice to be joyful instead of allowing yourself to get down in the dumps. I do believe a great attitude will get you through anything. I think the best example is of Job, and what he went through. He did not curse God and die as his “friends” told him to. I think his attitude was one of praise and also he was human so he went through the “why me God” stuff, we all go through. When we make one of our personal convictions that of integrity we will be filled with joy because we really love people the way we ought to love them. We honor people by being persons of integrity. Respect and honor can make a difference to change someone’s life around.
The next part is keeping God’s commandments. Remember Jesus summed them all up in the statement that we should love God with all our heart, soul and mind. Then he said the kicker, to love our neighbor as ourselves. These two simple, but difficult rules will lead us to a life of integrity and joy. This like everything else in the human spirit is a choice we have to make daily. This is the hard part because we have to deal with people’s drama. Not to say their hurts are not important, but their attitude in how they handle the hurt can be in a very negative way. It’s always good to remember that the person bringing strife into your life is hurting in some fashion. Instead of taking a good look in the mirror and dealing with what they have and putting it on God, they put it on other people to make those people as miserable as they are.
Shame will be far from our lives if we live this way. When we are righteous in our living shame will be greatly reduced in our lives. Shame will be greatly reduced in the lives of our brothers and sisters, because we will have a nonjudgmental attitude toward them. As the passage says, when we compare our lives to God’s commands we will see most of it as righteous living. We are saints that sin occasionally, not sinners saved by grace.
The last part of the verse really gets me. “Please don’t give up on me.” I probably can write another blog on this verse alone. The thing we can have comfort in is that Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us. He will never give up on us. He will never move far from us, He sticks closer to us than a brother. The giving up part is always on us; not Him. When we feel far from God, we may have to take a good look at our lives and see what we can do to change some things. The mirror is always a good indicator of what our relationship is toward God.
Integrity is honoring people and God with your life and not allowing the negativity of the world to overtake you. Being courageous enough to say I will be a person of integrity so that joy will fill my life and the lives of others around me. Inspirational intentional integrity can be contagious.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.