Signposts: Daily Devotions

Friday, January 2

No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk with integrity.
—Psalm 84:11

Integrity is being the man or woman God made us to be. To have integrity is to be whole and honest. To walk with integrity is to live our lives as simply and as thoroughly as possible. The opposite of integrity is phoniness, wearing masks, trying to live up to another person's expectations for us.

It is hard to walk with integrity any time, but I think that is most particularly true in our twenty-first century culture. We can be dazzled by all the things competing for our attention; we are tempted to live fast-paced, consumer-oriented lives. It is hard to simply BE, in our families, our work, and, Lord knows, in our churches.

But integrity is a process, a life-long journey. As we "walk with" integrity, we begin to know when we are real, and when we are phony. To have integrity may mean having a lower profile, being less busy, or saying no to things that make us uncomfortable.

Thomas Merton, the monk who traded a fast-paced life for one of solitude and contemplation, walked with integrity.  In New Seeds of Contemplation, he wrote:

If I am to supposed to hoe a garden or make a table, then I will be obeying God if I am true to the task that I am performing. To do the work carefully and well, with love and respect for the nature of my task and with due attention to its purpose, is to unite myself to God's will in my work. In this way I become His instrument. He works through me.

May God grant us the stillness to know who we are, the wisdom to understand what we are to do, and the courage to say no to anything else. Amen.