God and God's Word does not have integrity. This is another statement that causes the whole room to suddenly get real quiet. God doesn't have integrity, He IS integrity! And His Word is the very embodiment of that integrity. Hallelujah! In actuality, when man begins talking about the "integrity of God's Word" it is technically demeaning God's Word, because God's Word doesn't need any man's stamp of approval. When God says it, it IS! On the other hand, man's word, may or may not have integrity.
The scribes and pharisees had gotten the reputation of being fakes; saying one thing and doing another and not acting in good faith. In other words, they did not have or act with integrity. Integrity actually goes beyond the letter of the law. Jesus taught about the "spirit" or heart behind the law and illustrated this by giving six examples saying, "You have heard this. But I say this.." Since the passages do not directly pertain to our topic, I will just let you read them yourself from Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-32, 33-34, 38-39 and 43-44. Understand that Jesus is teaching us that integrity is also looking at the intent and heart behind and beyond the legal language of the injunction or contract.
Decades ago I started to "work my way up" in our denominational hierarchy from congregant, to usher, to head usher, to deacon and finally became a department head at the denomination headquarters. I spent more than thirty years studying about God in the areas of theology, eschatology, ecclesiology; canonics, demonology, etymology, new and old testament exegesis, world history, related mythology and more. But gaining a lifetime of knowledge about God does not even begin to compare with actually knowing God and knowing His heart.
I know! I thought I knew everything there was to know about God, but I didn't KNOW God until I got baptized in the Holy Spirit, who incrementally revealed to me the heart of Jesus, which was also the heart of the Father.
Paul said in Philippians 3:5-8, that He was a Hebrew that could recite his genealogy back through the tribe of Benjamin, that he was a Hebrew scholar, a Pharisee and Jew that religiously crossed every 't' and dotted every 'i' of the Law since he was circumcised on the eighth day of his life according to the Law of Moses and religiously zealous to the point of being an accessory to the execution of Steven and other followers of Jesus. He said that he was considered absolutely righteous in the eyes of his religion.
But, he said, that now he held all that, which he was previously so proud of, as if it were a pile of dung. Marcia and I did the same thing. Thirty years of accumulated religious notes and an entire library of religious study materials suddenly became completely worthless to us. Why? Because once you KNOW Him and KNOW His heart, all of the religious stuff just falls away, leaving behind love, good faith and a flawless reputation of integrity.
The word integrity is also an engineering term, such as determining whether a bridge or steel member of that bridge has the integrity to bear the load it will be subjected to. Integrity here refers to the wholeness, soundness, solidness and having the tensile strength to bear up under pressure without bending, buckling, twisting or in some other way failing.
On August 1, 2007 the massive I-35W Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, catastrophically collapsed during evening rush hour into the river and onto the riverbanks beneath, killing thirteen people and injuring 145 because of having insufficient structural integrity for the weight and pressures placed upon the bridge while being resurfaced.
Too often, when the pressures of life begin to bear down on Christians,
that is also when their integrity fails. You see, this relates to what
we were talking about concerning the letter verses the spirit of the
law. If you are under contract but your circumstances change, you could
probably find a lawyer somewhere who may help you connive your way out
of the contract.
If you have obligated yourself to something with a promise, I'm sure that you can come up with some believable excuse for not keeping it. But this "attempt to get out of an agreement, under pressure" is exactly the bending, buckling and twisting that I am referring to. These are all things that immediately precede an eventual catastrophic failure as a result of a lack of integrity.
God fully expects us to keep and stand by our word; to see every promise, contract or agreement through to its successful fulfillment, and to operate in and live a life of integrity - just as Jesus did.