When we think of a person that has integrity, generally we assume he exhibits good moral character; someone who is reliable and keeps his word. Biblically, integrity is one definition for living in a state of wholeness. Consider the lame man in Acts 3:16, who had received perfect soundness in his entire body the moment Peter spoke to him.
The complete definition of perfect soundness is described in the Strong’s Concordance as integrity that is physical wholeness. The Thayer’s expounds on this phrase: of an unimpaired condition of body in which all its members are healthy and fit for use. Perfect soundness also means complete in all its parts, in no part wanting or unsound, entire, whole, a body without blemish or defect, free from all sin, faultless, complete in all respects, consummate.
The word consummate really caught my eye. We all understand this term in the bonds of marriage, but what does it mean in regard to physical wholeness? The dictionary defines it as: fulfill, make perfect, finish, of the highest or most extreme degree. Now that’s rather shocking, isn’t it?
Imagine what it must have been like for the man born crippled in both legs to be carried everywhere he needed to go for forty years, never knowing how it felt to take even one step in his entire life! The instant he was healed, he was made consummate—wholeness of the highest or most extreme degree! I don’t know about you, but I’d be jumping around praising God too—even if it hacked a few people off! Wouldn’t you? Phooey on them!
The question remains for us: how do we live every day in a consummate state of divine health and also share it with others in need? Let’s take a look at the Wuest Translation of Romans 12:1-2:
“I therefore beg of you, please, brethren, through the instrumentality of the aforementioned mercies of God, by once-for-all presentation to place your bodies at the disposal of God, a sacrifice, a living one, a holy one, well-pleasing, your rational, sacred service [rational, in that this service is performed by the exercise of the mind}. And stop assuming an outward expression that does not come from within you and is not representative of what you are in your inner being but is patterned after this age; but change your outward expression to one that come from within and is representative of your inner being, by the renewing of your mind…” (Emphasis added)
There’s the key in bold print! Identify and express on the outside what you are on the inside through the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, abiding residence! Listen to the rest of the verse:
“putting to the test what is the will of God, the good and well-pleasing and complete will, having found that it meets specifications, place your approval upon it.”
This simply means that we need to act outwardly on the expression of Christ inwardly. You can mentally agree that something is true all day long, but if you want to experience truth—and in this case, wholeness to the highest, most extreme degree possible— you must act on it. That’s what is meant by “putting to the test” what is the will of God.
You can read your Bible and quote Scriptures all day long, but if you don’t begin to live them out, Scripture will merely remain a concept and never become a reality you experience. Sometimes it takes courage to take a step without the use of a cane, or start using a part of your body correctly that you haven’t been able to use. Hey, if you don’t start somewhere, things will just remain as they are. Integrity lives on the inside of you. So what have you got to lose?