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William Shakespeare said about integrity: “This above all: to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as night follows day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” In other words, inner integrity will manifest itself in the way we treat others. David, the author of Psalm 26, had a great longing for inner integrity. He wanted to live in ways that honored God and was a blessing to others. To do that, he knew he had to have unwavering trust in God and use God’s word as his guide. He expresses his intent not to spend time with liars or go along with hypocrites. He would not join those who did evil. Of course, David knew he could not avoid all contact with evil people; he intended to avoid participating with them in their wicked deeds. David even asked God to put him on trial and test his motives. In saying this, he is not claiming to be perfect. He made a similar request of God when he wrote Psalm 139. There he prayed, “Search me O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” David readily confesses his sins to God because he knows that God loves him–and that God will forgive him. When we have Jesus Christ as our Savior, we, too, can have the assurance of God’s love and forgiveness. Our heavenly Father is always looking out for our best interest.

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