Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Integrity or Duplicity?

(Sunday morning at Redeemer - prepping for worship.)

I began this day by opening the Bible to Proverbs 11. I got no further than verse three.

The integrity of the upright guides them,
    but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

Most of the time these days, when I read Scripture, I read it as speaking to me.

My Hebrew professor told me about hebraic "two way theology." This verse gives an example. It's either-or theology. Either integrity, or duplicity.

More and more, reading Scripture faces me with myself. So, do I have integrity?

I understand this word to mean: consistent moral and spiritual character, wherever and whenever I am. To have such integrity means being the same when I am with people, when I am in my home, and when I am alone.

Is this true of me? Not entirely.

Duplicity lacks integrity because the duplicitous person puts on high moral and spiritual character when with people, but lacks this when at home, and when alone. Duplicity is double-mindedness. Duplicity is hypocrisy. 

Am I duplicitous? Not entirely. You'll have to ask Linda about this. And, if you ask me about her, I can tell you that she's the same Linda when with people, when at home, and when alone. 

But, like me, not perfectly.

It is important to understand this. Only Jesus was perfect in moral and spiritual consistency. Only Jesus was tempted, yet without sin.

Linda and I are not there yet. But we press on to take hold of this, and make it our own. Take hold of what? Of Christ, forming himself in us.

Duplicity takes too much effort. It creates hiding, and posturing, and acting, and mask-wearing. Duplicity destroys families and churches. (This is not about imperfection. One can be imperfect and still have integrity. The integrity part includes confessing our sins, one to another.)

Integrity is beautiful. To live, increasingly, a morally and spiritually integrated life is to live a life of freedom and power.

Tomorrow morning I will open the Bible, again, to Proverbs 11. Perhaps God will allow me to advance to verse four.