Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
We can’t walk in two directions at the same time. That’s why the proverbial “fork in the road” serves as a metaphor for life’s important decisions. We have to choose a direction and walk in it. As Yogi Berra said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it!”
The Psalms and Proverbs speak nine times of “walking in integrity,” and Psalm 26 is essentially a prayer reflecting on the meaning of integrity.  It's a bold prayer in which the psalmist boasts of faithfulness, truthfulness, innocence, and good deeds before closing with an appeal for God’s redeeming power and grace:
But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the Lord. [vv. 11, 12]
We know we are saved by God’s grace and not by our good deeds or integrity. Nonetheless, a righteous passion for God produces integrity of character, and this is cause for boasting. “Integrity” is the biblical term describing the habits of a heart dedicated to blessing the Lord. While the motives of the heart cannot be seen, they become visible by “the walk” they inspire, and lifelong steps of faith flow from a pure heart. Eugene Peterson wrote of this in his book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, as did Kierkegaard in his tome on ethical integrity, Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing.
Integrity is a long walk in the right direction. Integrity is not achieved in a single heroic feat or smashing victory, but in the accumulation of countless steps. Integrity is the unwavering, lifelong walk powered by a heart that wills one thing—to be a living, breathing, daily blessing in the eyes of the Lord. Integrity is the long walk of obedience inspired by love.
Just as a long journey is comprised of small steps, integrity consists of the countless decisions made in the face of opportunities to waver or stray off course. In business terms, integrity is a deal negotiated for the sake of the common good; a promise held in spite of loopholes; a product recalled at the manufacturer's expense. To act with integrity is to be single-minded in the pursuit of God’s purposes, and to trust God to save and redeem the steps we take as expressions of our desire to bless him.
 The Old Testament Hebrew word is תֹּם (pronounced like “tome”).
© Bruce D. Baker, 2014