The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
A man of integrity is one who makes it his constant rule to follow the road of duty according as the Word of God and the voice of his conscience point it out to him. The upright man is guided by a fixed principle of mind. Hence you find him ever and everywhere the same. In what manner does such integrity serve as the guide of his life? To conduct ourselves in human affairs with wisdom and propriety is often a matter of no small difficulty. Amidst that variety of characters, of jarring dispositions, and of interfering interests, which is found among those with whom we have intercourse, we are frequently at a stand as to the part most prudent for us to choose. In public and in private life, the doubt started by the wise man frequently occurs. Who knoweth what is good for man in this life? In such situations as these, the principle of integrity interposes to give light and direction. The virtuous man has one oracle, to which he resorts in every dubious case. He consults his conscience. The principle of integrity will always, if we listen to it impartially, give a clear decision.
1. The guidance of integrity is the safest under which we can be placed. The road in which it leads us is, upon the whole, freest from dangers. The man of the world aims at higher things, and more rapid success, than the man of moderation and virtue. But, at the same time, he incurs greater risks and dangers. No calculation of probabilities can ensure safety to him who is acting a deceitful part. He who follows the guidance of integrity, walks in the high road, on which the light of the sun shines. The principle of integrity by no means excludes prudence in the conduct of life. It implies no improvident or thoughtless simplicity.
2. The path of integrity is the most honourable. Integrity is the foundation of all that is high in character among mankind. He who rests upon an internal principle of virtue and honour will act with a dignity and boldness of which they are incapable who are wholly guided by interest. That firmness which the consciousness of rectitude inspires gives vigour and force to his exertions on every great occasion. It adds double weight to all the abilities of which he is possessed. They who oppose him are obliged to honour him. Such a man is trusted and relied on, as well as esteemed.
3. The plan of conduct on which the man of integrity proceeds is the most comfortable, attended with the greatest satisfaction to his own mind. His reference of all his actions to Divine approbation furnishes another source of satisfaction and peace.
4. The man of integrity has in view the prospect of immortal rewards. True integrity will prove the truest wisdom both for this world and the next.
(Hugh Blair, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.