It is vital that we are people of integrity. People of truth and honesty. People who keep our promises and whose word is our bond.
Integrity is a firm adherence to a code of moral values. For those of us who are Christians, it is a commitment to what we understand to be biblical values. In a nutshell, it is being true to God and ourselves. Being honest. Having strong moral principles that we refuse to compromise. Our integrity (or lack of integrity) has not only consequences for our own lives but for our children as well.
The godly walk with integrity: blessed are their children who follow them.
This scripture reminds us that we need to walk with integrity. It is a lifestyle. It is a behaviour that can be learned and practised. Practice makes perfect. Keep practising.
We know that our children follow us: they look and learn. They imitate our behaviour – this is natural. Our integrity rubs off onto our children. It is like a good virus.
C. S. Lewis said that integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.
John Maxwell reminds us that image is what people think we are, but integrity is who we really are.
In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you (Warren Buffet).
Psalm 26 is a beautiful passage about integrity:
Declare me innocent, O Lord,
for I have acted with integrity;
I have trusted in the Lord, without wavering.
Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me.
Test my motives and my heart.
For I am always aware of your unfailing love,
and I have lived according to your truth.
I do not spend time with liars
or go along with hypocrites.
I hate the gatherings of those who do evil,
and I refuse to join in with the wicked.
I wash my hands to declare my innocence.
I come to your altar, O Lord.
singing a song of thanksgiving
and telling of all your wonders.
I love your sanctuary, Lord,
the place where your glorious presence dwells.
Don’t let me suffer the fate of sinners.
Don’t condemn me along with murderers.
Their hands are dirty with evil schemes,
and they constantly take bribes.
But I am not like that: I live with integrity.
So redeem me and show me mercy.
Now I stand on solid ground,
and I will publicly praise the Lord.
Psalm 25: 16-21 tells us that our integrity and honesty will protect us:
Turn to me and have mercy,
for I am alone and in deep distress.
My problems go from bad to worse.
Oh, save me from them all!
Feel my pain and see my trouble.
Forgive all my sins.
See how many enemies I have
and how viciously they hate me!
Protect me! Rescue my life from them!
Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge.
May integrity and honesty protect me,
for I put my hope in you.
Don’t let someone else’s lack of integrity be a justification for yours. People will let us down. Churches and organisations may disappoint us. Let us remain steadfast to be people of integrity.