To Live with Integrity
What is True -Websters definition 1 a: fidelity, constancy b :sincerity in action, character, and utterance 2 : the state of being the case : fact : the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality : a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality
In english we express the concept of total truth by saying that something is true “from A to Z” In Hebrew the word for truth is Emet (spelled alef-mem-tav). Its first letter is the very first letter in the Hebrew alphabet (alef). The last letter is (tav), the end of the Alef-Bet. The exact middle of the 27 letters of the Hebrew alphabet is the (mem).
Truth demands total accuracy from start to finish, including every point in the middle as well. pg.61 The secret of Hebrew words by Blech
In simplest of terms “Truth is what really is”
To really understand the meaning of Truth we need to look at what Truth is not.
Truth is not an idea
It is not a concept – concepts are not real, they are just mental play things
It is not a thought – a thought is simply a mental exercise
It is not something taught – teaching can at best introduce you to truth
It cannot be given to you – Truth is never not apart of you
It is not a standard – Again, truth is never detached from you
It is not something that is divided in any way. Truth is the whole, complete totality of everything.
So what are we to do with Truth?
Jesus said: “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
What does it mean to “know the truth”?
Know – Websters Dictionary says – verb (1) :to perceive directly :have direct cognition of (2) :to have understanding of (3) :to recognize the nature of :discern
The greek word for know is 1097 ginṓskō – properly, to know, especially through personal experience (first-hand acquaintance)
Both truth and knowing have this one thing in common with each other, they both are contained within the person and are not something that can be given to another. It is direct personal experience not second hand. A teacher at best can give you secondhand knowledge only you can experience “true knowing” yourself.
Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples; And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Jn.8:31,32
To abide in my word meant to to wait, to ponder the words Jesus used to describe the things He had seen with His Father and had demonstrated before them. Jesus was speaking and demonstrating before his disciples the Way to Truth. This Way he called “The Keys to the Kingdom” (Matt.16:19)
Jesus was the closest thing anyone had experienced to seeing the unseen with physical eyes. He was making the invisible God visible and even with this, the reality of a second hand experience displays itself to Jesus when he says:
John 8:43,45 “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. “But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.
Even the words of Jesus spoken to physical ears was not enough to set men free – To see, hear and even believe Jesus was not the same as knowing the truth that could set you free. To know thew truth for yourself and not through second hand knowledge required what Jesus refereed to as “waiting upon the Lord” and after days of waiting….
Acts 1:4;2:2,4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, said he, you have heard of me. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders. Lao Tzu
This first hand experience changed these men and women who had been in bondage to what they thought was truth but was not. – This personal experience that happened when they were waiting upon the Lord set Peter free from the fear that had gripped his being. For the first time Peter came face to face with Truth and like Jesus said “and you will know the truth and the truth shall make you free”
The truth will shall make you free – Will make Free: 1659 eleutheróō – properly, set free, release from bondage
How can we know that Peter was set free?
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said to them, You men of Judaea, and all you that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known to you, and listen to my words: Acts 2:14
We can know because he acted as a man without fear – He displayed the Truth he now knew!
You may ask
“What truth did he learn to be set free”?
It was not a metal knowledge that had set him free but a release of the Spirit of God within his own being. Peter had found the treasure of truth that had been buried deep within him – the pearl of great price was not something outside but was within him. This had been Jesus message all along. In the upper room while they were waiting they pondered the words of Jesus and these words worked like a shovel removing the teaching and concepts they had heard and believed since they were but small children. Layer upon layer the teachings and concepts about God had buried the reality of who Peter really was, simply put, a child of God. A being in the very image and likeness of God or as Jesus said it “I and the Father are One” . This discovery of oneness with no separation, this face to face intimacy, this realization of truth sets men free! And like a mighty rushing wind it explodes from within the deepest regions of your being and burst forth from your mouth in praise of the reality of I AM.
You want to mess up the minds of your children? Here’s how – guaranteed! Rear them in a legalistic, tight context of external religion, where performance is more important than reality. Fake your faith. Sneak around and pretend your spirituality. Train your children to do the same. Embrace a long list of do’s and don’ts publicly but hypocritically practice them privately… yet never own up to the fact that its hypocrisy. Act one way but live another. And you can count on it – emotional and spiritual damage will occur.
Charles (Chuck) Swindoll
Insight For Living
Following a set of rules is not freedom
Living by a standard is not freedom
To be fearful is not freedom
To live in terms of good and evil is not freedom
To believe that my identity is “sinner” is not freedom
To be divided internally and externally is not freedom
Paul said: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (Rom.7:15)
A life of Integrity –
IntegrityDefinition of INTEGRITY
3: the quality or state of being complete or undivided :
Only those who have discovered the Truth can live in Integrity.
Only they know the state of being complete and undivided.
As John said: If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 1Jn.4:20
To know the Truth is to know God to know yourself and to know your neighbor. This is the great mystery the one new man. Bad Religion makes men pretend to be something they don’t believe they are – True Religion help men discover who they are. Bad Religion demands conformity – True Religion leads you to transformation.
How does one live a life of Integrity? It starts with honesty
Honesty – Websters says – adherence to the facts
To know something is different than knowing facts about something. Honestly ask yourself “Do I know who I am?”
Do I know who I am without realigning on what I have been told or read about from others. Do I say I am a child of God because the Bible told me so or because I have met God face to face in a way that I know because I know.
Ask yourself – Why do I do what I do? It it because I think I am supposed to or it it because I really want to?
Until we can be honest with ourselves we will never be open to hear or experience Truth face to face.
“He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” -Lao Tzu
This above all, to thine own self be true. ~ William Shakespeare