“Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.”
When a person gets saved, it doesn’t mean that they will never again have to live in the world. In fact, the opposite is true. When you get saved, you still have to walk in the same sinful world, but you can overcome sin and the sinful atmosphere in which you must work or live. Your Christian integrity is the key to pleasing the LORD while you live and walk in this sinful world.
The Psalmist says in the verse above, “…I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore, I shall not slide.” The Psalmist declares that trusting the LORD and walking in integrity is what kept him from backsliding. When you continue to read this psalm, you see that it wasn’t easy for the Psalmist to keep from sliding. The atmosphere in which he lived was not the best, but walking in integrity kept the atmosphere from influencing his life. Some of the people he found himself around were “evil doers,” “wicked,” “dissemblers,” “vain persons,” and mischievous and dishonest people. In spite of having to be around these people, he was still able to keep his integrity and testimony for the LORD.
Do you find yourself often struggling to keep your testimony on the job? Certainly, if you work in the world, you will find yourself being around the same types of people that the Psalmist endured; however, just like the Psalmist, you can overcome any atmosphere and live for the LORD if you will walk in integrity. Let me give you a couple of thoughts about overcoming a sinful atmosphere.
First, overcoming a sinful atmosphere is a choice you must make. The word “integrity” means, “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.” Being honest and doing right is always a choice. Integrity means nothing if you are never tested with doing wrong. Integrity comes into play when you find yourself in a sinful atmosphere, but you continue doing right. My friend, you have a choice whether to do right or wrong, and your integrity will determine which one you do.
Second, just because you are around a sinful atmosphere doesn’t mean you have to associate with those who do wrong. The Psalmist said in verse 4, “I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.” Just because you work with people who do wrong doesn’t mean you have to sit with them while they do it. When I worked in a paper factory as a teenage boy, I purposely didn’t sit with those who would curse, tell dirty jokes, or do things which would bring sinful temptation. I didn’t stay away from them because I thought I was better than them, but I did it because I wanted to please my LORD. People will purposely do wrong in your presence to see if you will silently partake of their sinful actions. Christian, where you sit matters. Sitting alone isn’t a bad thing if that is what you must do to keep your integrity.
Third, staying focused on the LORD is the hope of walking in integrity. The Psalmist said, “…I have trusted also in the LORD…” Who you keep your eyes on will determine what you do in an atmosphere that praises sin. You may not be able to control the atmosphere because of who you live and work with, but you can control your focus on Who you are serving. The only hope of keeping your integrity and preventing yourself from backsliding in a wrong atmosphere is by staying focused on the LORD.