Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.Matthew 5:8
“The Resistance” Sermon on the Mount Study Guide Lesson 6: Exhibit Integrity
The phrase pure in heart is not just a measure of our actions, but more about what lies within us and our inner thought life. Explicitly, it is our integrity when in roles of influence. Biblically, the way we become pure is through a process called purification which can best be described as being cleansed; having failed and having been corrected. As Christ followers we are to seek a continual state of purification, much like the process of rendering silver or gold. Our sanctification. In their natural state, these precious metals have impurities which are purged through fire to produce a purer metal. As heat is applied, these impurities rise to the surface and are skimmed away.
For all intents and purposes, this is what integrity is to us as leaders: a continual process of melting impurities away. You see, we may look like one thing on the outside, but something completely different on the inside. When things are going well it is easy to keep up appearances, but as soon as difficulties arise, that which is on the inside will eventually come out.
Integrity goes a step further than mere obedience. It is achieved through a series of choices to not only do the right thing, but to accept the right thoughts. Building integrity does not occur over night and does not become refined when everything is going well. Our impurities are purged through trials and tribulations. Once things start to get difficult, what old habits do we revert to? What is the perfect storm, what would it take for failure to occur?
Integrity directly relates to us in the sense that if our mind and heart are divided, we become distracted by contrary thoughts and pre-occupations which results in a loss of focus, confused purpose and poor vision for making judgments. Scripturally we become a double-minded man that is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8) So much of our communication is not just our words or body movements, but the actions we take. Do we continually keep our word or find ourselves making excuse after excuse while justifying our words and actions?
If you do find yourself having to continually make excuses, please take some time and evaluate if the objective area is indeed a priority. If you are just stretched too thin, examine what needs to be given up so you can focus better. If you are like me, you have the uncanny habit of over-commitment. If this is the tone of your life, you may have to consider why you are allowing yourself to get over-committed. The answer may be much deeper than you know… It was for me. And it revolved around the need to be accepted and acknowledge by other people for my efforts.
Character in Action (Sermon on the Mount Bible Study Homework)
Read Psalm 32 and 51. Identify inner obstacles that may be holding up progress, then answer the questions below as thoroughly as possible.
- Do your thoughts and actions always line up in your objective area?
- Do you have a divided heart or an exhausted spirit towards your area of focus?
- What would the person closest to you say about your level of integrity in all areas of life? Are there discrepancies?
Dear Heavenly Father, You know us better than we do. Please forgive us for accepting a divided heart. This isn’t our intention, but we do nothing to stop it. Thank You for continuing in your steadfast love towards us. Please give us Your discernment to be active in making sure our words and actions align for Your glory. In Your Son’s holy name, amen.
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