The picture of the Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci is a pretty iconic piece and you can even see a print of it on the wall here at the Cross. Did you know however that “Leonardo Da Vinci’s late 15th Century masterpiece is technically unfinished. In the late 1970s the mural underwent extensive restoration and, in most pictures, shows a roof but in Milan, where the painting lies, the roof is incomplete.” 1
In this week’s blog I want to talk about a word that has a dual meaning in English, but also in Hebrew; integrity. Each word can be used in the sense of being righteous or morally upstanding in one’s behavior. The word can also be used as being whole or united. In Proverbs 11:3 it says: “3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” I think the two definitions can help us understand what the scripture is trying to tell us.
The ‘unfaithful’ mentioned here in this passage are those who are living in ‘duplicity’. This duplicity is in fact those who know God’s words yet do not follow them in their lives. Basically, the unfaithful are hypocrites, believing and knowing yet not living out their faith (or lack of). James talks to this in his letter when he wrote, “22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:22)” God wants us to be more than believing, but living that belief out.
“The integrity of the up right guides them…” Here we see that righteousness guides our ways. This happens when we not only read (know) God’s word, but apply it in our lives. As believers, we must allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us as we learn the Word of God. The Holy Spirit, if we listen, will convict us of areas in our lives we need to change. As we yield our lives to the Word and Holy Spirit, God will give us the grace and strength. It is not our righteousness, but Christ’s righteousness being worked in us.
Integrity takes hold in our lives when we become united in Christ. His righteousness becomes ours and we are made complete. Men and women of integrity are those who walk in close relationship with Christ. Unlike Da Vinci’s masterpiece that is unfinished, we when united in Christ through the Word, Holy Spirit and Jesus’ grace, can be beautiful masterpieces on display to those around us and show how God’s grace can truly change us. Here is the thing though we need to be willing to unite with Christ by submitting wholly to Jesus.
1. Wil, English in the Real World. 15 Famous Unfinished Projects- don’t let English be one of them! https://englishlive.ef.com/blog/english-in-the-real-world/15-famous-unfinished-projects-dont-let-english-be-one-of-them)