Wisdom provides us with many benefits:(this is coming straight from my Ryrie, I tried to paraphrase...but it is just isn't working) watchcare and honor (1-9) guidance in the way of righteousness (10-19) and life, health and integrity (20-27)
I once heard an example of integrity being explained as though it is a complete circle. A complete unit or entity. That means there is no room for interruption in its completeness. No room for a small break in the circle, or it is no longer whole. Just like an integer, a whole number that can only be divided by itself. So what does this whole stuff mean to me? Well, I have found that a person of integrity has to be the Real Deal...the whole package...all that and a bag of chips...how do they get that way? What keeps a person from being those things?
If there is one small thing that breaks up the circle, they are toast, huh? You know this to be true. You've been in a circle of friends where you liked someone, thought they were charming and a sincere person. Then you've seen or heard them do something that shocked you. You never viewed them in the same light. They had a crack in their circle. No longer worthy of the description, a person of integrity.
How do I believe we achieve that description? Submission.
Submission to our Sovereign God who indwells us with the Holy Spirit. Not in a way that causes us to be chaotic or to act out emotionally at every little fleshly tug in our gut, but in a stable Christ-like manner that is seen by the world as we live our faith out loud. I believe that the reason I love Proverbs so much is because it is so practical. But we mustn't allow it to be come a Self-Help Book. We must instead realize that the only way to strive for integrity is to take us out of the picture. More of Christ's attitude, more of Christ's example, more of Christ's wisdom, for this is the only way. The crack in our human circle is proof that no one human can be a person of integrity without the Holy Spirit. For I can do all things through Christ with strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Let us not do this so that we will be described as a person with integrity here on earth, but rather so that we will be able to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service. Romans 12:1
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Romans 12:3
I pray we do not do good to be seen as good. I pray we do not read Proverbs to be seen as wise. I pray we read and study, so that the Holy Spirit can make us what we were designed to be, a living sacrifice. Get off your high horse if you are thinking that you are a good person for studying, or for helping someone, or for praying - none of this is you doing anything! Instead, find a joy in serving Christ by submission to God through the Holy Spirit, to God be the Glory.
Okay - so that was just the first verses of Proverbs and a variety of other stuff, but like I advised earlier, let the Lord lead your devotions, you will be blessed for it. I know I was during this short study.