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Tend to your integrity like little sheep

"Trust in the Lord and do what is right!
Settle in the land and maintain your integrity."
Psalm 37: 3

"I always marvel at how gentle some of the men were at this time of year, how you saw them kneeling in the mud or the straw of the pens, delicately threading a stomach tube down an ailing lamb’s throat, over the little pink tongue. You could see how much they cared. My dad would be gutted if he lost a lamb; it would hang over him like a grey cloud until he had put things right by saving others."  James Rebanks:  "The Shepherd's Life"

In the Hebrew, "maintain" could also be interpreted as to tend, watch over, guard.  It likens our integrity to a little flock of sheep--easily devoured, easily scattered.

A shepherd tends to his flock because he loves each little lamb and knows their value.

What is the value of your integrity?

Does it "gut" you if you lose your integrity or have your integrity questioned?

Does it hang over you until you have "put things right?"

It should.  

Verse 37 says, "Take note of the one who has integrity!  Observe the godly!"

As followers of Jesus, we are being observed.  There is an expectation that are constantly working to promote God's deep love and peace in the world.

I believe integrity means that we take care of the broken, the poor, the underprivileged, the foreigner.
It means that we work for justice.
It means that we strive to live at peace with everyone.
It means that we are hurt by others.. and then forgive.
It means that we mess up.. but then apologize.
It means that we bake a cake for the homosexual wedding.  Not just any cake... but the best damn cake that we can bake.  And we send it with a blessing and a smile... telling them how deeply God loves them.

Guard your integrity.
Watch out for the wolves that prey upon your peace.
Use caution against the carnivores that consume your compassion.


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