What You Need to Keep Things Real
by Rick Warren — May 20, 2023
From The Keys to a Blessed Life
“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.”
Psalm 119:9 (NIV)
Cultures around the world are absolutely obsessed with appearance and image. They’re scooting by, they’re skimming, and they’re cheating. They’re not keeping their promises. They’re pretending to be someone they’re not. They don’t have integrity. In other words, they’re hypocrites.
In ancient Greek culture, actors were referred to as hupokrites because they pretended to be someone else. It’s where we get the word “hypocrite.”
When you act one way with one group of people and another way with another group of people, you’re being a modern-day hupokrites. You’re showing a lack of authenticity—a lack of integrity. But God wants you to be exactly who he made you to be, no matter who is watching.
So how do you—as a follower of Jesus—keep it real when so many people are faking it?
There’s only one way. You’ve got to care more about God’s approval than the approval of other people. That’s the only way you’ll ever become a person of integrity.
If you care about what God thinks, you’re going to do the right thing. But if you care more about what other people think, you’re often going to do the wrong thing.
Psalm 119:9 says, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word” (NIV).
The only way to know what God approves of and what he thinks of you is by reading the Bible. You must stay in God’s Word! If you don’t, you will not have the strength and the stamina to live with integrity.
If I don’t have a daily quiet time with God, if I miss it for even a few days, I notice it—and everyone else notices it—because I start getting cranky. If I didn’t stay connected to God through his Word, I would not have any spiritual power to clearly explain the Word of God to you. I would not have the strength to live with integrity.
Living with integrity takes spiritual power because what is right is often unpopular. On your own, you’ll get tired trying to do the right thing, trying to be real, and trying to keep the right motives—so you need to be equipped and refreshed.
Do you want to live as a person of integrity—someone who is the same no matter where you are or who you’re with? Then commit to spending daily time reading and studying the Bible, God’s Word. It’s the only place you’ll find the spiritual power you need.
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