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Proverbs 11:3 “The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.”

Integrity can be defined as the attribute of doing right in the sight of the Lord, regardless of whether anyone else is watching or not. Integrity is moral excellence, and it is the opposite of perverse or crooked behavior. The man or woman whose life is guided by integrity (as our text implies) will be an individual who lives their life by principle and not according to personal feelings or the pressures of the world. Matthew Henry said of this verse, “An honest man’s principles are fixed, therefore his way is plain.”


The life of Joseph in the Old Testament illustrates perfectly the truth that is conveyed in this verse. As a young man, Joseph made the decision to live his life in a manner that was pleasing to the Lord and to his father. As a result of his decision, Joseph developed a set of personal principles that would dictate his actions throughout the course of his life. This code of integrity, which he chose to live by, became a guard and guide for Joseph in the days ahead.


When, later on, he was tempted to sin by Potiphar’s wife, Joseph’s principles made his decision for him. In Genesis 39:9 Joseph refused her adulterous advances by stating, “how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” To Joseph, it was not a matter of getting caught or being found out by men; instead, it was a matter of doing right in the sight of God, regardless of whether or not anyone else would ever know.


Joseph’s example should motivate each of us to strive to live our lives in such a way that we will be guided by integrity and guarded from iniquity.

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