“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed because of their duplicity.”
Proverbs 11:3, NIV
Today I want to look at how it’s possible to walk into the future with both faith and confidence.
There are some key words in today’s Scripture – integrity, upright and duplicity – that will help us understand the principles involved. Integrity means that you are the same all the way through. Upright means that you choose to live your life according to God’s Word and His laws, not your own good ideas. But duplicity means being two-faced, dishonest and deceitful.
If a person is two-faced, it means that they are presenting one side of their character or personality to one party and another side to a different party. They can be saying one thing but thinking another. They can be flattering you with their words but despising you with their thoughts.
And in terms of our relationship to God, it means that on the outside we are giving the impression that we love the Lord and want to serve Him at all times, but that the inner motives of our heart are very different. We then become unbalanced and it is not surprising, therefore, that it says in James 1:8 that “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” An unstable and unbalanced person is a danger to themselves and to anyone who chooses to depend on them.
The saddest form of spiritual duplicity is when people swallow their own lie and try to deceive themselves. They can believe one thing but, in reality, the truth about themselves is very different from the image they present. They can use this false image to try and manipulate others and, even, try and manipulate God! It’s sometimes not easy to see what is going on – even in our own hearts. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to truly reflect back to us the picture of us that He sees, so that we can become single-minded and not be vulnerable to being imbalanced.
The words integrity and upright are easier to understand. An upright person is not only one who follows and obeys the Lord, but one on whom you can trust not to change their behaviour or beliefs to suit their circumstances and impress whoever they happen to be with. A person with integrity is someone on whom you can trust to always be the same in their beliefs, reactions and behaviour. So, a person who is upright has integrity, and you know that they can be totally depended on. That is the sort of person we need to become and remain before God – so that He can always depend on us to not only walk in His ways, but to do His Kingdom works. We won’t then fall into the deadly traps of unfaithfulness caused by duplicity.
It’s an exciting but awesome thought, that God depends on us to be true to ourselves and true to Him. When you look at Christian history, these are the people on whom God has depended to do His work. They could be depended on to act with integrity and be upright in all their dealings, so God trusted them.
So, do you want to be unfaithful, with duplicity as a hallmark of your character? Or do you want to be faithful and live an upright life of truth and integrity. You can be sure that if your heart’s desire is the latter that God will rejoice to be at your side to help you in all the stages of life’s journey. Proverbs 13:6 tells us that “Righteousness guards the person of integrity.” And Proverbs 4:18 tells us that, “The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”
Prayer: Thank You, Lord Jesus that in everything You said and did You acted with truth and integrity and that, as a result, we can unconditionally depend on You. Help me, Lord, to so live that there is no duplicity in my heart so that You can depend on me to always be available to do whatever You want me to do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.