Trust God, not your gut

A person with integrity is someone who acts with whole-hearted (or complete) goodness no matter the situation.

It’s easy to show integrity when everything is working out fine and when everyone agrees about what should be done.

It’s more difficult, however, under pressure. M. Scott Peck says: “Stress is the test for goodness. The truly good are they who in time of stress do not desert their integrity, their maturity, their sensitivity.”*

Because of that, here’s a one-sentence filter you can use when under pressure and which helps you act with integrity:

Trust God, not your gut.

Don’t get me wrong: there have probably been times when trusting your gut has served you well. But here’s the risk. We can mistake our “gut feelings” (or even our instincts) for God. We can give them an authority and power that they shouldn’t have. Even our powerful instincts and feelings need to be checked against the word of God.

So when I say that we should trust God and not our gut, I’m reminding us to be careful in high-pressure situations. When we feel stressed or get nervous, it’s easy to bypass what Scripture teaches in favour of doing what we “feel” is right in the moment.

I love Mark 13:31. Jesus says: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” If Jesus’ words outlast even heaven and earth, we should certainly trust them for guidance more than our gut instincts (which barely last half an hour).

As you seek to navigate life with integrity, trust God—not your gut.


–“Integrity under pressure.” Sermon. February 26, 2023. Click here to watch or listen.

–Podcast: Fun Lent Trivia. Click here or tune in to ‘The Pulse Podcast with Matthew Ruttan’ wherever you subscribe to podcasts.

–*M. Scott Peck, People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil (New York: Touchstone, 1983), 222.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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