For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. – Psalm 84:11
Aunt Betty told us girls, “Pull back your shoulders, stand up straight, and walk tall,” admonishing us to have good posture.
She was a lively, hardworking lady, going at her tasks, as someone said, “as if she were killing snakes.” Since we lived just up the hill from her,
our steps often led us to her comfortable little home, where there were usually wonderful oatmeal cookies awaiting. Her Christian example in the face
of hardship (she raised three children as a young widow) is still an inspiration to me, because in addition to standing straight, she also lived an
upright life before God.
Likewise, in our Christian walk, we must endeavor to be upright. The dictionary defines upright as “morally good, honest, righteous, just, honorable,
principled, conscientious, fair, equitable, and pure.” Sound like a mouthful? Perhaps. Impossible? Definitely not! Salvation takes care of the sin,
and we have a desire to live pleasing to God. Sanctification removes the inbred inclination to sin. Thereafter we live carefully, choosing each day
to live right, with God’s help.
There are promises attached to upright living: “God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that
walk uprightly.” That means we will be given light for our way; God will be our protection; we will have His grace to smooth the bumps that life brings
our way; and anything else that would be good for us will be given. Talk about a mouthful! There are numerous other benefits: the hope of eternity
in Heaven; the priceless peace of mind that accompanies a clean life; the genuine fellowship with likeminded believers. When we are wholeheartedly
following the Lord, He enriches our lives each day.
We may each ask ourselves, “Do I walk uprightly? Am I living righteously, or do I cheat a little when no one sees? At work, am I accountable for the time
I’m paid, or do I work inefficiently? Do I act one way when I know others are aware of my testimony, and another way if I am unknown? On the freeway,
am I a mirror of Christ?” After all, living rightly only part of the time is not living uprightly.
Spiritually, we must be careful not to stoop, slouch, or slink. Let us straighten our backs and walk with integrity. With God’s help, we can live upright
lives and reap the available benefits!