“Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbour, for we are members of one another.”
“Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being…”
We are continuing our study on the Character of a Godly Man.
Last time we spoke on Integrity and the conscience. The fact is, in a church like ours where God’s Word is clearly taught, where we have active discipleship and men pursuing godliness, and we have a men’s study which pulls no punches – you’re going to have those times when your conscience is hit and you say “man, that’s is convicting!”
The question is, what are you going to do about it?
You have two options: self-deception, or self-indictment. You will either suppress the truth and ignore, deflect or dodge the pangs of conviction… or you will confront sin by confession and repentance. The first option is the natural one, the second must be empowered by the Spirit and leads to integrity and truth in the inner man before God.
1 – How do we deceive ourselves?
- We ignore
- don’t imagine that God will allow you to ignore His truth
- to ignore conviction from the Word of God is to resist the Holy Spirit
- We rationalize
- this is how we silence the conscience
- the conscience is the accuser, and you become the devil’s advocate (the devil being your own desires)
- rationalizing is becoming the serpent saying “has God really said”
- we re-interpret the Scripture to avoid its unyielding truth
- Realize that self-deception is at the core of the old man (see Eph 4:17-19)
- We have been called to speak truth, and it starts by putting off all falsehood – especially self-deception in avoiding conviction
2. How should we confess?
- Psalm 51 is our model
- Start with a clear and specific acknowledgment of whatever is being exposed in your heart
- Do not run from the light, but expose your heart to the full sunshine of God’s Word
- Confess your sin by agreeing with what God’s Word is revealing
- Have the posture of ‘raising your hands to heaven’
- this was the attitude of saying “God examine my hands, I’m open before you”
- come to God asking for His evaluation of your heart
- integrity for sinful men must begin with confession
- Confess your rationalizations, confess where you have been suppressing the truth
- Say about your sin “in that moment, I loved my sin more than Christ”
- Take the truth, be honest with yourself, confess the reality of it all in light of God’s Word, be specific about its offense, pray that God’s heavy hand of conviction would not allow a moment’s peace in hypocrisy, call for pruning
- Empty the room
- as David prayed “against you, and you alone have I sinned – and done what is evil in your sight”
- everyone else is excluded, you are to contend with your sin first and foremost before God
- exclude those who may offer excuses to your behavior (he made me angry, she tempted me, finances were tough)
- the blame is on me, there’s no blame-shifting
- God defines what is sin, what offends His holiness
- Embrace the forgiveness you have in Christ and rejoice that you are not a slave to sin, but free to serve our Saviour
A man of integrity is a man useful to God.
As David confessed his sin, turned from it and embraced God’s forgiveness, it produced a yielded submissiveness to God and His will. “Make me hear gladness, renew a steadfast spirit in me…” and then he got back to what he’s supposed to be doing “teaching sinners Your ways”. A renewed mind, a new life. That’s what we’re looking for – putting off sin and producing lasting fruit.
A man of integrity is eager to be in discipleship – a hypocrite is afraid of people in his life because he is afraid of being exposed. We are to be men who are whole and not divided, speaking truth all the way into the inner man and inviting influences that will expose us to the light of God’s Word. Integrity has the attitude of embracing and not resisting the conviction of the Holy Spirit and engaging to the full result that is intended by Him.
Although this is not the perfection of your life, may it be the direction as you nurture and cultivate integrity in confession rather than self-deception.