March 16, 2018 • Life for Leaders
I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
when will you come to me?
I will conduct the affairs of my house
with a blameless heart.
In Psalm 101, David pledges to live an exemplary life. He will praise the Lord, not only with his songs, but also with his character and behavior. In particular, David promises: “I will be careful to live a blameless life—when will you come to me? I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart” (101:2).
The phrase translated here as “I will conduct the affairs… with a blameless heart” could be expressed more literally as “I will walk with integrity in my heart.” This refers to a profound consistency between one’s inner life and one’s outer lifestyle. It is the opposite of hypocrisy, where the inner and outer don’t match, or incongruity, where we act one way in one setting and a completely different way in another.
David mentions explicitly that he will walk with integrity in “[his] house.” He doesn’t only mean that he will live rightly when he is physically present in his place of residence. He means more than that. David’s home is the place of his most intimate and important relationships, the place where he interacts with his closest friends and advisors, the place where he spends time with his children, the place where he draws near to God in prayer. (And, sadly, it’s the place of David’s failure to live as he professes.)
How easy it is for those of us who are in positions of leadership to squander our integrity at home. We appear to be people of high ethics in our workplace or public endeavors, but we may be altogether different when we’re with our family and friends or when we are alone. No matter how I live and lead in public, I ask myself what my wife and children really think of me. Do they see me as a person of integrity? Or do they know I major in hypocrisy?
Psalm 101 challenges us to live whole lives in which all the parts fit together, forming a mosaic of witness to God’s love, justice, and truth in our words and deeds, in our public life and private life.
Something to Think About:
Are you living a life of integrity in your own home, in your closest relationships, in your private life?
Where do you find it hard to experience the wholeness God wants to give you? Have you confessed your failings in this area to the Lord? Have you asked him to help you be a person of consistent integrity?
Something to Do:
Ask someone who knows you well and whom you trust whether you are living with integrity. Ask specifically about any areas of life where you may be falling short. Try not to be defensive. Listen to what God is saying to you through the person you’re talking with.
Gracious God, thank you for this stirring reminder from Psalm 101. I want to lead a life of integrity in my own home. Yet so often I fail. Forgive me, Lord. Create in me a clean heart so that I might live for your glory in every moment.
Help me, by your grace and through your Spirit, to walk with integrity in every path of my life. When I’m with my coworkers, with casual acquaintances, and with those who are closest to me, or when I’m with nobody else but you, help me to honor you and those you have put in my life.
In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary:
Working in a fallen world (Psalms 90, 101)
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.