Six commandments for living a good life of integrity
By Clay Perkins
Saturday, December 8, 2018
“Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? … Whoever does these things will never be shaken.” — Psalm 15:1 & 5b (The Bible, New International Version)
Want to know what to do to live the good life? Are you interested in being with God in His house? Would being able to live at peace with everyone interest you?
Take a look at what Benjamin Franklin called the “Gentleman’s Psalm.” Read and read again Psalm 15. Franklin noted that it contained, in five short verses, guidelines showing civilized men how to conduct all their affairs, and he is almost right. Contained in this Psalm are standards for all people who desire to live well with everyone.
The question is clear in this call to worship, “Who can enter? Who can live with God?” The answer is also clear, along with the results of living this way. What follows are six clear rules for everyone to follow. Most of us know, or have at least heard of, the Ten Commandments. Read on to learn the six commandments that all of us are to follow so we may enter worship with God and get along with each other on planet Earth.
Few would argue that we face an integrity crisis today. Too many people, including Christians, fail to stand for anything. It is hard to say what prompted David to write these words, but David’s words certainly apply to our generation. Those who follow these words are savvy.
The words allotted to this column do not allow for a complete picture of our relationship with God that, in turn, affects our relationships with each other, and you and I will never earn permission to enter to worship or live with God. That is given to us by grace. But we are to live a life of gratitude for what God has done for us, in us, and despite us. If we follow these six commandments, our life will be richer, especially as we live with each other and prepare to worship each week.
1. Walk in a way that is blameless and righteous. Think about where you are going and what you plan to do before you go. Be intentional in all you do. Choose well, or your integrity will weaken.
2. Speak truth in love. Not only do your actions matter, but also your words. Years ago, I found myself in a local IRS office because someone had slandered my name. The appointment was over almost before it started because my actions had been above reproach. But someone’s words were not. Be careful to think first, then speak. If you ever find yourself saying, “I really should not tell you this ...” then don’t. Stop talking. Speak truth in love.
3. Be fair to others. Help others. Be nice. Live a life seeking nothing but good will toward your fellow man.
4. Keep your priorities straight. You do this by keeping good company. Be careful whom you make your heroes or your role models. Being with good people helps you to keep priorities straight. Bad company corrupts your choices (1 Corinthians 15:33).
5. Be true to your word. Your words should be as good as gold. If you say it, that settles it. It will be done. Keep your promise, even when doing so hurts.
6. Be fair with money. Give an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. Pay an honest wage for an honest day’s work. Treat others with your money the way you would want others to treat you with their money.
These six commandments are a good start to living the good life of integrity: Walk with blamelessness and righteousness. Speak truth with love. Be fair to others. Keep your priorities straight. Be true to your word. Be fair with money. Then you will not wobble with life’s troubles. And when you go to your house of worship, you can stand tall.
D. Clay Perkins is an adjunct professor at Mid-Atlantic Christian University. The opinions expressed in this column belong to the author and may not be those of the university.