Proverbs 11:3

Proverbs 11:3 "The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them."
Proverbs 11:3 Baptist Church Buffalo NY
While I’m not a big fan of being restricted to a group and its guide when traveling, I recognize the clear benefits of having a tour guide when going into unfamiliar territory.  The internet has definitely made it easier to travel without the help of a tour guide but that doesn’t mean we don’t need guidance.  In many ways in today’s world, the tour guide is just taking on a different face.  When it comes to traveling, the internet has become the tour guide.  With its maps, reviews, blogs and social media posts, the internet gives us guidance when we travel into unfamiliar territory.  Guidance, whether in the form of a local guide or in the form of online information, is critical for a safe and successful trip into the unknown.

In our pilgrimages to the Holy Land, we secure the services of a tour guide for many reasons.  One of those reasons is to keep us safe.  While most of Israel is safe for tourists, there are areas of conflict that should be avoided and the local tour guide knows what we foreigners don’t know about those areas.  Without an experienced and knowledgeable tour guide, it would be easy to intentionally or accidentally end up in an area of the country that could be unfriendly to Westerners.  Without a well-informed guide, it would be easy to go somewhere at the wrong time or say something in the wrong way.  Without an insightful guide, it would be easy to find trouble simply out of ignorance of local culture, traditions and customs.  Having been to Israel with different tour guides, I have grown to appreciate their value because they tell us where to be careful and who to be careful with.  They tell us who to talk to and who not to talk to.  They tell us where to use cash and where to never use a credit card.  They tell us what to wear at holy sites and what not to wear at holy sites. They tell us where we’re welcome and where we aren’t welcome.
When going to unfamiliar places, guidance is necessary.  Life is one such place.  No one can afford to go through life without guidance.  Every day is a new day with new challenges and unfamiliar territory.  No one can be sixteen twice.  No one can live their sixtieth year twice.  As important as experience is, it doesn’t replace the need for guidance.  Experience teaches many things but it doesn’t prepare you for the unfamiliar territory in life - it only prepares you for the familiar territory in life.  Life is wildly unfamiliar much of the time.  Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you see something new.  Just when you think you’ve heard it all, you hear something new.  We need a guide every day to get us through life.  Without a guide, we’ll say something we shouldn’t say.  Without a guide, we’ll go somewhere we shouldn’t go.  Life is hostile and has trouble waiting around every unfamiliar turn.
In this proverb, Solomon proposes that integrity be that guide.  In doing so, he declares integrity the confident guide of the upright in an unfamiliar world.  The upright are such because they possess integrity, or moral wholeness, honesty and purity.  That integrity tells the upright where to go in life and where not to go.  Integrity tells the upright what to say and what not to say.  Integrity tells the upright who to give money to and who not to give money to.  Integrity tells the upright who to make friends with and who not to make friends with.  Integrity tells the upright how to treat people and how not to treat people.

At times, a tour guide can seem a little restrictive and even annoying but the consequences of not having a guide can be devastating.  Abandoning a tour guide can seem liberating but it can be very dangerous.  Without that insight, you’ll say the wrong thing to the wrong person.  Without that guidance, you’ll go down the wrong street at the wrong time.  A lack of integrity leads to an abundance of immorality, which ultimately results in one’s demise.  It is the perverseness of a transgressor that destroys him.  A transgressor goes where he shouldn’t go.  A transgressor goes and does what he wants to do and because he is motivated by pure selfishness, it will lead to his destruction.
Without integrity in an unfamiliar world, a soul is without guidance.  He does what he wants.  He does what feels good.  He does what makes him happy at the time.  He has no moral guidance.  He has no warning.  He has no insight.  He is naïve about the consequences of his decisions.  He is ignorant about the ramifications of his pleasures.  The person who lacks integrity lives in an unfamiliar and unfriendly world with a substantial handicap and essentially becomes a sitting duck for trouble.  The person who possesses integrity lives in the same unfamiliar and unfriendly world but receives the information necessary to avoid the dangers awaiting him.  Integrity guides us through life and helps us avoid enraging another woman’s husband or another man’s wife.  Integrity guides us through life and helps us avoid provoking the sword of God’s governing minister.  Integrity guides us through life and helps us avoid stirring up the wrath of God.  Integrity guides us through life and helps us avoid the street of dishonesty and the community of disobedience.

Integrity may seem to be a party-pooper on occasion but it knows what we don’t know about our world.  Integrity is invaluable.  We often don’t appreciate its value until we see the harsher side of life.  When I think of integrity, Job always comes to mind.  He lost nearly everything in life and had never been in that situation before.  There was no class to prepare him for losing most of his assets, many of his employees and all of his children at one dreadful time.  There wasn’t a person he could turn to who had experienced the exact same loss.  All of his experience and wisdom was woefully inadequate to prepare him for this moment.  How would he respond to life?  How would he respond to God?  He couldn’t turn to any teacher, person, book or even any of his wisdom for guidance.  He only had his integrity; his God-fearing character.  Integrity was all that he needed on that day for it guided him through unfamiliar and frankly, unfriendly territory.  Integrity told him, “whatever you do, don’t curse God.”  And so, Job wisely listened to his tour guide and “sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (Job 1:22).  Some short time later, God applauded Job in front of Satan saying, “hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an UPRIGHT man, one that feareth God, and esceweth evil? and still he holdest fast HIS INTEGRITY (Job 2:3).  Job had a wise voice within to guide him through unfamiliar territory and the Bible calls it INTEGRITY.

Integrity is more than just moral soundness – it is the virtue that gets you safely through an unfamiliar world. Those who choose to do life without integrity inevitably get into grave trouble and find the grave sooner.
Got a Guide?  If not, get integrity.  When you don’t know which way to turn, just follow integrity and go the right way.  When you don’t know what to say, just follow integrity and say the right thing.  When you don’t know what to do, just follow integrity and do the right thing.  Doing the right thing is always the right thing to do in an unfamiliar and unfriendly world.  Integrity will keep you safe and make your trip through life as successful and satisfying as possible.





Rehoboam Solomon fear of God health pride self-sufficiency wisdom 1 Corinthians 2020 5th Commandment Aaron Abel Abigail Abraham Absalom Accident Achan Acts 17 Adam Adolescence Adolf Hitler Adulterer Adulteress Affair Age Ahijah Ahithophel Albany Alcoholism American America Amnon Andrew Finch Answered Prayer Apple of Eye Arrogance Asaph Athletes Backbone Back Balance Bank Accounts Bathsheba Bedroom Beecher Benefit Benjamin Bethlehem Bezaleel Bible reading Bible teacher Bible Biblical instruction Bin Laden Birth Boasting Bonar Bondage Boyfriend Buffalo Bills Building CA Rt 1 Cable News Calamity Call of Duty Calvin Canaan Cancer Candidates Careers Casey Viner Character Christian upbringing Christ Churches Clamor Clinton Clothes Clothing Coaches College Communication Conception Confidentiality Conservation Contrast Conversation Corinthians Corrupt Cosigner Cosigning Courting Creation Creator Crime Criminals Crooked Curiosity Currency Danger Daniel Data Dating Daughters David Death Delilah Democratic Desire Deuteronomy Devil Diligent Discovery Disease Dishonesty Dishonor Divorce Drink Drug lords Drunk Driver Drunk Early Adulthood Ecclesiastes Economic Stability Eden Elderly Elihu Elijah Emerson Engagement Enoch Ephesians Ephraimites Esau Esther Evening Eve Exodus Expectations Experience Famine Fashion Favor of God Fear of the Lord Fearing God Feast of Purim Financial Security Fingers Food Foolish Freedom Friendships Friend Froward Fruit GPS Galatians Gender Differences Genesis Gideon Gileadites Girlfriend Glad Godhead Goliath Gossip Grandchildren Gratitude Grave Grief Guide Guns Hagar Haman Hamlet Hannah Harlot Hate Evil Hatred Healthy Heaven Hebrews Herod History Hollywood Holy Spirit Homicide Honesty House Humble Humility Hypocrisy Hypocrites Immorality Inherit Insecurity Insight Instructing Integrity Internet Interview Inventions Isaac Israel Jacob Jairus James Jealousy Jeremiah Jeroboam Jerusalem Jesus Christ Jesus Jewish Law Jewish Jobs Job John the Apostle Jonah Joseph Joshua Josiah Joy Judah Judaism Judas Iscariot Judges Judgmental Justice System Kindness King David King Hezekiah Kings Language Law Enforcement Law Leaders Learn Liar Lies Life Lesson Lion Longevity Look Lottery Love Triangle Lowliness Luke 7 Luke Luther Lying Manna Mark Martyr Marvel Mary Matthew Media Men Mindset Mocking Monopoly Moody Morality Mordecai Morning Moses Mouths Natural Disaster Naughtiness Nebuchadnezzar Nehemiah New Tricks Noah Nobles Numbers O.J. Simpson Obama Observation Old Dogs Order Parenting Passion Pastors Paul the Apostle Paul Perspective Perverse Perversion Peter Pharisees Pharoah Philippians Plant Pleasure Politicians Politics Polygamy Poor Popularity Potiphar's Wife Potiphar\'s Wife Potiphar\\\'s Wife Potiphar\\\\\\\'s Wife Prate Prating Pregnancy Pregnant Princes Principal Thing Principal Procrastinate Procrastinator Profit Prophecy Prophet Prosperity Gospel Prostitute Protests Proverbs Proverb Psalm 21 Psalm 35 Psalm 37 Psalms Psalm Punishment Pure Purity Purpose Rachel Rage Rebekkah Rehoboam Rehoboma Relationship Remember Reprove Republican Reputation Research Resume Resurrection Revealing Revelation Rich Man Rich Ridicule Road Rulers Rules Sabbath Sadness Samson Samuel Satan Saul Scale Scam Science Scientist Scripture Sea of Galilee Seasons Seed Self-Confidence Selfishness Shakespeare Shame Shane Gaskill Shenandoah Valley Shoe Laces Sickness Silence Simon Peter Simon Social Media Society Solomon Song of Solomon Sons Sorrow Source Speaking Speak Speech Spiritual Security Sporting Sport Spouses Steal Stephen Stock Market Strange Woman Strength Stress Surely Surety Swatting Sweat Talkative Talking Tamar Taylor Teachers Teaching Teenagers Teens Tendency Theft Theocracy Timothy To be or not to be Toddlers Tolerance Tongue Tour Guide Travel Treasure Trickery Trinity Trips Trouble True Love True Wisdom Turner Tyler Barriss Understanding Unforgiveness Unhealthy Universities Unjust Upright Value Vehicle Vengeance Virtuous Walk Washington Watsom Way of Life Way Weight Winking Wink Wise Men Witnessing Womb Women Work Ethic Worth Yankees YouTube Zechariah addiction adultery advertisements advertiser advertising advice advisor affection affirmation aggression alcohol amos angels anointing ant anxiety appetite argument assumption as attractions authority background backyard bankrupt battle beginning birds bitterness blessed brain bright broken nose buckler campfire cardinal sins career carelessness car cause certainty charity chastening childhood childrearing children child choices church attendance church command confidence confident consequences considerate contention contentment conversaion correction counselor counsel covetousness criticism cruelty cynicism dads dad darkness dark daughter debt deception decisions defend defense demands destruction determination diamonds diligence direction disappointment discernment discipleship disciples disciple discipline discontentment discord discretion distractions distress doctrine dogs drinking drugs dying ear education effort emotions employee employer employment enemies enticement enticing envy equity evil communications evil men evil women evil example eyelids eyes ezekiel facts failure fairness faith family fathers father favor fear of God fear feelings feminine fighting fight filthy finances fire flattery focus following foolishness foolishnes fools fool forgiveness fornication friends future gambling gender gold good men good government grace greed guard guilt happiness happy harm hate headlights health heart hear holiness home honor hope hunger husbands husband ignorance illustration income inequality infidelity influence iniquity insomnia instincts instruction intimacy investigation isaiah issued issue jewelry judgment justice just kidnapper kidney kids knowledge labor law of sowing and reaping laziness lazy leadership learning legacy length of days lessons let life light lips listening listen little liver living loans loneliness long life love lucifer lust man marketing marriage math memorization memory mercy messenger millions mind ministry mischief misery mistakes mom money mothers mother motive mouth movies nature necklace neck neighbor obscenity observant oil oppression oppressor organs ornaments parable paranoia parenthood parents parent pastoring path peace peer pressure peers peer permission personification pleasant politician ponder pornography pottymouth poverty power prayer preservation pride priests private procrastination prodigal profanity prosperity prostitution protection protect prudence public restroom purchases reading reaping reason rebellion rebuke regret rejection relate relationships relevant remedy remembrance remorse repetition replacement reproof respect responsibility responsible retain retention riches righteousness righteous risk robber romance rubies safety sailor salvation schools scorner secret security seduction seeing see self-sufficiency self-sufficient serpent seven deadly sins seven sexist sexual sin sex silver simple simplicity sinners sin skepticism slander sleeplessness sleep slothfulness sluggard smoke to the eyes smoke son soul sowing spleen spouse stability stranger strange strife striving successful success suicide talents talk taxes teacher television temptation tendencies thief thieves thinking think thoughtfulness thoughts thought threats time tithe tree of life trust truth tv vehicles vice video games vinegar to the teeth vinegar violence violent virtue virtuous woman visual voice of God voice vulgar walking war wealth well wickedness wicked wife will wine wisdom wise sayings wise wives woman word of God words workplace work worry young man young people young youth