The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
There is a safe way to live – do right. And there is a dangerous way to live – do what feels good and sounds good. By committing to do only what is right at all times, you will have clear direction for every situation. But living your life by your own feelings and choices will often lead you to confusion and difficulty, and it will certainly destroy you.
What is integrity? It is the glorious character trait of always doing what is right, regardless of difficulties or consequences. It is the upright who have integrity. What is perverseness? It is turning away from what is right to act contrary to law or nature. It is transgressors, or sinners, who are perverse, for they choose to reject moral restrictions.
The upright always do what is right – they have integrity. Their confusion in life is minimal, for they have chosen to follow what is right in every choice and dilemma. They have a constant guide. Transgressors do whatever they want – they are perverse. They have no standards or parameters for their actions, and their perversity will destroy them.
What is right? Whatever the Bible says is right! Anything to the contrary is perverse and wrong. The Bible should be exalted on every subject, and all other opinions should be hated (Ps 119:128). Such a rule defines Bible Christianity. It does not matter what a pope thinks, what is socially acceptable, what is traditional, or what will win you a promotion.
Is sex up to you? No! God invented the pleasure, and He has ruled concerning it. Joseph was a man of integrity, and he never had a doubt about what to do with the seductive advances of Potiphar’s wife (Gen 39:1-12). But Samson was perverse in his obsession with Philistine whores, and it cost him his eyes, his freedom, and his life (Jdgs 16:1-31).
Is revenge up to you? No! God owns all vengeance, and He has ruled against taking matters into your own hands. David spared King Saul two times, even though he was trying to kill David (I Sam 24:1-22; 26:1-25). But his nephew Joab was perverse, killing Abner, Absalom, and Amasa in anger and revenge, to his own destruction (I Kgs 2:5-6).
Are small items from your employer up to you? The upright know better (Tit 2:10). Is the frequency of marital sex the wife’s choice? Perverse women think so (I Cor 7:1-5). Is capital punishment debatable? Not to the upright (Deut 17:6)! Are Presbyterian baptisms acceptable? No way (I Pet 3:21)! Should believers pay taxes to a pagan government? Upright men will pay (Matt 22:15-22). Is the rosary a prayer? Not to a man with integrity (Matt 6:7). Should a man be content with his wife? Upright men are (Pr 5:19; Col 3:19).
These listed matters and many more are simple for the upright, for they make choices based on integrity in always following Scripture. The wicked, perverse in their rejection of God’s word, are confused about the simplest matters and end up in destruction. The rule of wisdom is to live by integrity – always doing right – which gives a constant guide.
The blessed Lord Jesus Christ always did those things that pleased His Father. He had perfect integrity and prudence in obeying the word of God and living a perfect life. For those who believe on Him, He is the Source and Means of everlasting righteousness.