Commentary on "Integrity: Wholeness and Holiness"
Day 1: Sabbath Afternoon, May 29, 2010 - Overview
The week opens with the week’s memory text: Titus 2:7-8:
“In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”
This text is followed by an anecdote of a pastor who had to interrupt his sermon by reprimanding his unruly children from the pulpit, promising to punish them after the service. Everyone in the church was silent.
After the service, Sabbath lunch was delightful, and visitors talked and relaxed. “It was a happy Sabbath.”
That evening the daughter said to her dad, “Today, you promised to punish me, and you didn’t. You told a lie.”
The lesson then makes the point that it is easiest to slip up in the littlest things, and it promises to examine how the topic of integrity impacts life on many levels.
To be sure, the example in the lesson for Day 1 describes a lack of integrity and a failure to follow through with a public “promise”. Yet once again, this lesson approaches the biblical command—in this case the command to set an example by doing what is good—without first establishing that the command is directed toward born-again believers.
There is a pervasive issue within Adventism of members claiming they don’t believe all the fundamental beliefs and unique doctrines of Adventism. At least in North America, a great many Adventists stay loyal to the church but internally reject the historic tenets of the investigative judgment, the “prophetic status” of Ellen White, and various other beliefs and practices. Many even say the Sabbath is not a necessary observance in order to be saved.
This disjunction between what individuals “believe” and what they practice demonstrates a deep lack of integrity.
Integrity is defined in Webster’s Universal College Dictionary this way: “1. uncompromising adherence to moral and ethical principles: soundness of moral character; honesty. 2. the state of being whole or entire: to preserve the integrity of the empire. 3. a sound or unimpaired condition.”
The secret to having integrity is not merely determination and making sure one follows through on his promises. It requires a deep consistency that grows from a commitment to the one Truth in all creation: the Lord Jesus Christ, and to His living revealed word, Scripture. Only when a person submits his mind and his heart to the Lord Jesus and allows His word to be his only rule of faith and practice can he hope to have true integrity.
Only then can he make realistic promises and keep them. Only then can his beliefs match his behaviors.
Copyright 2010 BibleStudiesForAdventists.com. All rights reserved. Revised May 26, 2010. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Glendale, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email: BibleStudiesForAdventists@gmail.com.
The Sabbath School Bible Study Guide and the corresponding E.G. White Notes are published by Pacific Press Publishing Association, which is owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist church. The current quarter's editions are pictured above.
Official Adventist Resources