Ecclesiastes 5:2-3 "Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool."
Actions speak louder than words! In fact, Jesus spoke of this in Matthew 25:21. "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" Notice that he said, "well done," not "well said." This is also Solomon's point in today's reading – no more lip service! Do the right thing in a reliable way. In a word: integrity.
Integrity comes from the Latin word integer, meaning “whole, undivided.” People of integrity are honest, reliable, and driven by an unwavering sense to do what's right. God gives us a moral compass through the Holy Spirit. He guides us and enables us to grow more and more like Jesus, who makes us whole. But first, we must choose to follow his lead.
How can we become people of integrity? Start with the basics: strive to be the same person in private as in public. When the numbers at work aren't adding up, be honest. When others talk behind someone's back, choose not to gossip. Don't keep secrets from your spouse. Don't lie to cover your tracks.
Living as a person of integrity is a daily – sometimes moment-by-moment – decision. And when you fall, be honest with God and get back up. Don't just talk about it, be about it. Do this, and someday Jesus will look at you and say, "Well done!"
Today make choices in line with Scripture. Develop the habit of not excusing sin, by quickly confessing to Jesus or others. Ask for forgiveness when necessary and take steps to avoid future offenses. Use your words wisely.
Dear Lord, you determine what's right and wrong. Without you, I would remain hopelessly incomplete. Give me the drive and strength of character I need to back up my words with actions. And guide my decisions with your Spirit so that my life outwardly reflects my inward connection with you. In Jesus' name, Amen.