As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,
And You set me in Your presence forever.
Psalm 41:12 NASB
I saw something big last week, and it is my fervent hope that this revelation continues to grow. It’s part of what led me to dig deeper into the Kierkegaard quote on our eternal responsibility to be an individual. At issue is my integrity.
Integrity: 1. firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values; 2. the quality or state of being complete or undivided (Merriam-Webster)
The two definitions, incorruptibility and soundness, are firmly linked, but I’m focusing on the second right now. The state of being complete, whole, undivided. The Holy Spirit is showing me a rift within my heart, in the very essence of how I see myself—and I am astonished.
I have viewed the weak and stupid child-me as the root problem of my life. “She” is my albatross, my permanent blight. I have loathed “her” and the unchanging vulnerability that is “her” calling card. I’m using quotation marks around my pronouns to emphasize the distancing language that marks my thoughts, my very perception of myself.
Honestly, my pride is so huge and so tenacious that I prefer the idea that my wounding stems exclusively from my sin. I loathe acknowledging that child-me rarely saw it coming. Easily manipulated, ignorant and trusting, child-me couldn’t handle anything. I’d really rather be just super-evil than weak and stupid. I would! See, my evil is covered by Christ’s Blood—“He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities.” There’s a Solution for my sin. But weak and stupid? No, that’s here to stay. And I never realized before just how much I hate that. Every fiber of my being opposes this reality!
The Holy Spirit showed me that I surrendered to the call to turn and become like a little child only insofar as the child in question was a rather precocious and capable one. In other words, a child most unlike me. I am horrified by how little compassion or grace I have and have had for myself, and all for the unforgivable offense of being a common human child: weak, vulnerable, helpless. And there’s no fixing or healing or cleansing to be done on this point. The weak and vulnerable child is intrinsically ME. It’s all just me and to pretend otherwise is to lie.
Denying the truth of who I really am – and who God requires me to be – means that I have been cracked, unsound, lacking my basic integrity. David could say to God, “You uphold me in my integrity” because David was a man who lived in the truth of his weakness. Martha taught me that. God will uphold my integrity once I surrender to and embrace the entire truth of who I am—and always will be. That’s my eternal responsibility. And only when I’m living in the truth of my weakness can God come into my life with the fullness of His strength and His wisdom and His unhindered purpose. I don’t want to miss out on experiencing Christ in all His splendor, and I don’t want to miss out on the destiny He’s planned for me. He loves weak and stupid and vulnerable me, and who am I to gainsay the Creator of All? A fool I am, but I hope not quite so foolish as that.
God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise,
and God has chosen the weak things of the world
to shame the things which are strong,
and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen,
the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,
so that no man may boast before God.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 NASB