by Rick Warren — August 29, 2023
From Essentials for Living
“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”
Proverbs 10:9 (NIV)
The test of integrity is that your public life and your private life match—what’s in your heart and what’s in your life are the same thing. You ask yourself, “Would I want everyone to know about this decision that I’m making?”
The Bible says, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out” (Proverbs 10:9 NIV).
The truth is, when it comes to integrity, even if you can fool everyone else, you can’t fool yourself and you can’t fool God. And when you violate your biblical values, you’ll pay for it with unwelcome consequences and broken relationships.
Sometimes we know we’re about to do the wrong thing. We know we shouldn’t do it, but this thought comes to mind: “I know I’m doing the wrong thing, but I’m going to go ahead and do it because I know God will forgive me.”
Do you think you can do something that God says is wrong and not have consequences in your life? God knows there are consequences to every decision—and that’s why he doesn’t want you to make the wrong decision. He knows that every bad decision leaves scars in your life. And he wants better for you.
Does this mean that God does not forgive you for the wrong things you do? Of course, he forgives you. He’s a forgiving and gracious God. But that forgiveness does not free you from the pain and the consequences that come from making decisions that go against his will. You can be forgiven and still have regrets. You can be forgiven and still face pain. You can be forgiven and still have a broken relationship.
God created you, and he knows what’s necessary for you to live a full and purposeful life. Trust God’s Word and watch how he guides your steps.