18 Comments

INTEGRITY

I have really been thinking about this word. It is something I strive for each day and often fall short of. Why then must I continue to aim for this word to be one that describes who I am if it is impossible to master? The answer is quite simple and quite complex. The best things in life are.

In the dictionary, the word integrity means –

1) an unimpaired condition, i.e., soundness, wholeness

2) firm adherence to a code of moral values, i.e., incorruptible, honor,

3) the quality or state of being complete or undivided, i.e., completeness.

Synonyms of integrity are honesty and unity.

BIBLE REFERENCES –

  1. Integrity means treating people fairly and honestly. (Leviticus 19:35-36, Deut 25:15, Proverbs 16:11-13)
  2. Integrity is giving your word and keeping it. (Exodus 8:28-32)
  3. Integrity will protect you. In Psalm 25, David prays that integrity and uprightness will protect him. (Psalm 25:21, Proverbs 2:7-8, 10:9, 11:3, 13:6)
  4. Integrity is more valuable than riches. (Proverbs 28:6)
  5. The Lord will test and judge your integrity. (1 Chronicles 29:17, Psalm 7:8)
  6. The Lord hates lies and lack of integrity. (Zechariah 8:16-17)
  7. It may be difficult to maintain your integrity. (Job 2:3, 2:9, Proverbs 29:10)
  8. Your character can be corrupted by bad company. (1 Corinthians 15:33)
  9. Integrity will be rewarded. (1 Kings 9:4-5, Nehemiah 7:2, Psalm 41:11-12)
  10. Your integrity should set an example. (Titus 2:7)

Why is integrity so important for followers of Christ and humanity in general? Because it is a foundation for life. It is what morality is built on and as Christians, we need to be more like HIM. Not because we have to but because we want to.

It is oh so easy to make excuses for lacking integrity. The evil one sets traps for us and we can justify every dishonesty and sin. But we must persevere.

To teach my children this important lesson in life, I ask them a very simple question. Can you stand on Sunday morning and tell all you said and did throughout the week without shame? If not, don’t do it or say it!

Peace, love and God’s will.

About Diane Graham

Diane Graham lives in the mountains of eastern Oklahoma with her husband, children and many dogs. She is an avid reader and lover of all art forms that encapsulate imagination and goodness. Her debut novel I Am Ocilla was released in March 2012.

18 comments on “INTEGRITY

  1. Having integrity often means that you are on a road less traveled to God with no one else in sight. An alone place at times. A person of integrity gets labeled as a holier-than-thou person by the world and those ignorant to God’s Word and salvation, in order to justify their own emotions and sin. When that candle light entitled “integrity” hits the room that is pitch black , the darkness will try to consume the light, blow the candle out, extinguish it with gusts of hot wind. But Jesus is Light and we have to know that taking that narrow way to God is the only way that we can be true to ourselves.

  2. Well said, Diane.
    Your children are blessed to have a mother who knows what’s important.

  3. Thank you , Eagle and Julia. I feel blessed.

  4. When I was a kid, I found integrity to be a crucial part of the teaching I received in Sunday School. As an adult, it’s more about “love” and “giving and receiving” that I hear from the pulpit. I wonder if the kids are still being taught integrity or if they’re getting the same message that’s now being pushed from the pulpit.

    It’s actually rather sad that in today’s society, the people of the world have more integrity at times than people in the Body of Christ. When you have no one but yourself to rely on, you know that you have to be “sound” and “whole” and “adhere to a code of moral values” whatever that code may be. If you don’t, then you won’t make it. People won’t be able to trust you.

    Yet, people in the Body run things fast and loose sometimes and ask for grace and forgiveness – which we should always make as ready and available as our Saviour does for us – when all along, if they had just been honest and said they couldn’t do something that they said they could, or had followed through on other things that they very well could have done, but chose not to, then they wouldn’t have to ask for the grace and forgiveness.

    I find myself guilty there too. I find myself either saying I’m going to do something, or agreeing to something, and then suddenly I find myself doing so many things I don’t get anything done. Prioritizing items helps in maintaining one’s integrity.

    Good post, Diane. 🙂

    • David,

      Somehow, your reply was in spam or I would have responded sooner. Great points. It is a constant battle for all humans to maintain integrity…even when an effort is being made. 😉

      Thank you.

  5. Excellent post and plenty of food for thought.

    It takes me back to my early days as a Christian. Where I worked almost everyone else was staunch atheist and some of my colleagues seemed to spend an awful lot of energy trying to find gaps in my integrity. So often I would hear the words: “that’s not very Christian!” if I said or did anything that didn’t fit exactly into their idea of how a Christian should behave.

    I left the company feeling as though I had failed God. On my final day I visited the local shop where I used to buy my lunch. The elderly lady behind the counter said that she would miss me because I was always so friendly. She told me she always wondered why I was so nice. Then she gave me a knowing wink and said that someone had told her the reason. So even though I thought I was messing everything up, at least one person noticed that there was something different about the way I conducted myself.

    • Thanks, Paul. The world does tend to put us under a microscope at times. God knows your heart and motives, friend. I am so glad for it. I constantly reexamine my own motives because I know He, unlike the world, is always watching. 😉

  6. Integrity is doing the right thing when no one’s watching.

  7. I’ll share a story of how Di and I first learned about integrity. Believe it, or not, we were not always honest and the type of people that stood up for what is right. During a rough time in our young lives we tried our hands at being bullies and stealing candy from the local convenience store. It was during this time that we had our favorite person to pick on, a little girl that had accidentally wet her pants at school.

    We would mercilessly tease her, surrounding her like a pack of wolves, yelling at her and shoving her. During a walk home one day, a particularly large group of us surrounded her and her brother screaming and shoving.

    I was in her face screaming, and in one moment several things seemed to happen at once. I actually looked at her face and saw her bottom lip quiver as huge tears overflowed from the corners of her eyes.

    This is where, what I call, a miracle happens. At that exact same moment God spoke to my sister and I both at the exact same moment. As one, Di and I turned and began chasing off the other children, our friends. We escorted this girl and her brother home and the told her mother everything we had done.

    Since that strong message from God that turned our lives around we have strived to defend those that need it and that we can, and we teach our children the same.

    • Thank you, sister. You have always been good at telling on me. 😉 🙂 I love you and am thankful for that day. 🙂

      As I recall, we were 8 and 9 at the time.

      As for stealing…Momma caught me with a candy bar in my shirt and marched me back to the store to make me return it. It was the first and only time I ever did so. My bottom is sore remembering the busting it received and my ears recall the tears in Momma’s voice as she lectured me.

      • Yes, I still always fear disappointing mom. I am thankful for the blessings He has bestowed upon me, even those that appear to be misfortune to my eyes at the time they happen. I love you sis.

  8. I agree with you comments about integrity, dear friend. This has also been one of my goals in life…to live with integrity. I had a great roll model. If there was one word that caught the essance of my father it was the word integrity.

  9. Integrity is something that I think we all have in out “core values” for our lives. As important as it is to have a great deal of integrity as a person living in the world, it is more so for the Christian bearing witness to the world. Integrity though, can be a very slippery slope (for me anyway). It is so easy for me to be proud of my integrity, or strive for a great deal of integrity for all of the wrong reasons. The problem with integrity is that it very often does turn into that “holier than thou” attitude, and the word integrity just turns into a cover, and a way for us to justify our pride.
    I am not saying this is the case for all, or really for anyone but myself. Here is what I believe though: Integrity is only truely found in humility and love. Love needs to be the motivator, nothing else. Living a life of integrity isn’t something that is done for oneself, but out of love for God and neighbor.
    For me, integrity in my life can only be defined by Christ, and whether or not I am living in Him. If I recognize that I have a great amount of integrity in my life, it is only because He is in me, and that is what I mean when I say humility.
    Thank you Diane for your post, I enjoyed reading it, also the comments.

    • Excellent points, Mauricio. We must be approachable to the world around us. Perhaps that is why God chooses some of the most broken and smudged souls to spread the Good News. If HE can love and forgive us, then HE can love and forgive all. 😉

    • I only just now read your post, and I really enjoy what you have shared. I agree with what you say, and want you to know that I struggle with the slippery slope of becoming proud of my Integrity.

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