The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
The policy of the world, like the world itself, is fluctuating and deceitful. Uncertain both in its objects and its means, it knows nothing of that steadfastness which religious principle communicates both to mind and conduct. The shifts and windings of those who are guided by no higher principles than those of pride and avarice would be truly ludicrous if they were not accompanied with serious mischief. Integrity, originating in the honest feelings of nature, exalted by piety, and cherished by serious reflections upon the ends of a probationary state, is our purest guide amidst all the temptations and difficulties, through all the vicissitudes and perplexities, both in thought and in action, which are continually occurring in the journey of life. By integrity is meant, steady determination to abide by the profession of important truth, however unfashionable, and to be upright in all transactions with the world, at whatever expense of temporary ease and interest.
I. INTEGRITY IS THE SUREST GUIDE TO EVERY PRACTICAL PURPOSE IN OUR RELIGIOUS INQUIRIES. These inquiries have unfortunately been perplexed and mystified by the polemics of Churches and sects. Of course it is integrity, enlightened, to a certain degree, by a right education, that is meant. Go to the Bible with the sincere desire of gaining the knowledge of practical and consolatory truths, without any sectarian bias, and it is impossible that you should err in anything that might affect your practice here, or your salvation hereafter. Your integrity will guide you in all that is essential.
II. INTEGRITY IS OUR BEST GUIDE IN OUR WORLDLY TRANSACTIONS, AS MEN AND AS MEMBERS OF SOCIETY. It is the great solver of all moral difficulties. Whence do these originate? They are generated by that interference of complicated interests, which embarrasses and perverts the minds of those who have no settled principle to which they can refer amidst the ever-varying plans of worldly wisdom. Integrity, enlightened by the truths, and fortified by the promises of the gospel, admits of no hesitation on account of any temporary inconvenience, to which an honest conduct may expose us. In public concerns, the surest way to outwit cunning and artifice would be to fix only upon such objects as reason can indicate and conscience may approve. Truth, in the hands of wisdom and courage, has a commanding aspect, which would confound the subtle chicanery and pitiful arts of a selfish and low-minded diplomacy. And in private transactions between man and man it holds equally true that enlightened integrity, acting with perseverance upon a settled plan, ultimately gains the very end by upright means which in the cunning and dishonest tall a thousand times for once that they succeed. Integrity makes a man rich in character, and that ensures him the best chance of gaining earthly success and wealth.
(Jas. Lindsay, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
WEB: The integrity of the upright shall guide them, but the perverseness of the treacherous shall destroy them.